SANDY, Utah (AP) — Mario Martinez ended a season-long scoring drought for the Sounders against Real Salt Lake when he found the net in the 81st minute, helping Seattle advance to the Western Conference finals with a 1-0 victory Thursday night after the teams played to a scoreless tie in the first leg of their series.
The third-seeded Sounders scored for the first time in five games against Real Salt Lake this season, including the opener of this semifinal Nov. 2 in Seattle. With a 1-0 aggregate victory, the Sounders earned a trip to the conference finals against the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy defeated the San Jose Earthquakes.
Fredy Montero set the scoring play in motion when he swung a cross out to Martinez on the left side of the box. The pass drew Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando toward the left post. Martinez fired at the opposite post and buried the ball in the right corner.