2019 Major League Soccer, Western Conference Playoffs - Semifinals
  • Gustav Svensson (64')
  • Nicolás Lodeiro (81')
  • Everton Luiz (83')

Seattle Sounders beat Real Salt Lake to reach Western Conference finals

Nicolas Lodeiro had a goal and an assist as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting Real Salt Lake 2-0 Wednesday night in Major League Soccer's Western Conference semifinals.

Gustav Svensson also scored for the second-seeded Sounders (18-10-8), who will meet the winner of Thursday night's Los Angeles derby for the conference title. If top-seeded Los Angeles FC wins, they would host the conference final next Tuesday, while the fifth-seeded Galaxy would travel to Seattle if they pull off the upset.

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Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, the 20-year veteran who has played his last game after announcing this will be his final season, kept his team in the game with seven saves.

But RSL (17-14-5) was unable to get much going offensively, putting just one shot on goal, a harmless attempt from long range by Damir Kreilach in the first half. RSL finished the game with 10 men after Everton Luiz received a red card in the 83rd minute for a hard tackle on Svensson near midfield.

Svensson opened the scoring in the 64th minute off a corner kick by Lodeiro. The Swedish international ran onto the ball near the top edge of the 6-yard box and flicked a header just inside the near post, leaving Rimando no chance.

The Sounders put the game away in the 81st minute, after defender Brad Smith sprung Raul Ruidiaz free with a long pass down the left wing. Ruidiaz drove deep into the penalty area before making a back pass for Lodeiro, whose left-footed, 15-yard shot curled away from Rimando and found the right side netting.

Ruidiaz nearly scored a third in second-half stoppage time, but his attempt was cleared off the line in the fourth extra minute.

After a scoreless first half, in which the best chance was Lodeiro's shot off the left post in the 5th minute, the Sounders pushed hard for a goal early in the second.

Defender Kelvin Leerdam had two chances in the 47th minute, one cleared away by Nedum Onuoha's header and another on a foot save by Rimando after a deflection.

Cristian Roldan's diving header off a Lodeiro free kick in the 61st minute was tipped just over the crossbar by a leaping Rimando.