By Tim Peterson
(Carson) – Emmanuel Boateng scored twice and Alan Gordon drew first blood for the Galaxy as they knocked Real Salt Lake out of the MLS playoffs 3-1 Wednesday night before 18,124 at StubHub Center.
Gordon’s goal came off of a Landon Donovan cross in the 14th minute. The pass was meant for Giovani dos Santos however he just missed it but Gordon was right there to follow it in.
Real Salt Lake battled back to get even seven minutes later when Joao Plata scored on a penalty kick that was assessed when Boateng knocked down Javier Morales.
Gordon almost had his second of the night off of another dish by Donovan in the 24th minute but he just missed wide.
Boateng made up for the penalty in the 26th minute getting the go ahead goal as he dribbled right through the Salt Lake defense and booted one by goal keeper Nick Rimando.
In the 34th minute Boateng strikes again as he rammed one in at the far post after getting by the RSL defenders.
The Galaxy nearly made it 4-1 as Jelle Van Damme just missed a header off a pass from dos Santos.
The Galaxy took the two goal advantage into the break. They had six shots overall in the first half compared to four for Real Salt Lake. They also owned time of possession 63.6 percent to 36.4.
In the second half Robbie Keane replaced Gordon in the 52nd minute.
Galaxy keeper Brian Rowe kept the advantage at two with a nice save on a blast by Kyle Beckerman in the 59th minute. Three minutes later Baggio Husidic was hit with a yellow card for a takedown of Plata.
Real Salt Lake’s Sunny was called for a yellow card after flattening Boateng. Boateng then exited to a rousing ovation in the 75th minute as Mike Magee replaced him.
Three minutes of additional time were added in the second half but Salt Lake wasn’t able to muster any more offense and the Galaxy celebrated the first round win.
“I think that penalty kick got him a little angry and he made up for it for sure with and excellent game. We’ve been looking for him to break out a little but and today he did and had a great game,” said Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena of Boateng.
Next up for the Galaxy is the Western Conference semi finals where they will square off against Colorado on Sunday at StubHub.