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Sounders eliminate Dallas in rubber match, will host LAFC in semifinal

Seattle Sounders celebrate Seattle Sounders celebrate - The Canadian Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Albert Rusnák scored a first-half goal and Stefan Frei made one save in picking up his second clean sheet of the best-of-3, first-round MLS Cup series as the Seattle Sounders eliminated FC Dallas in the rubber match with a 1-0 victory on Friday night.

Seattle, the No. 2 seed, will host defending champion and third-seeded Los Angeles FC in the Western Conference semifinals. LAFC swept the Vancouver Whitecaps in a first-round series.

The Sounders (15-9-11) have now gone 19 straight home matches without losing to Dallas (11-11-13), posting a 15-0-4 record over the span. Only New England's 20-match streak at home against New York (2002-13) was longer against a single opponent in league history.

Rusnák gave Seattle a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute when he took a pass from João Paulo and scored his second goal of the series. Rusnák scored on a penalty kick in the 43rd minute of the Sounders' 2-0 victory in the opener.

Frei's lone save came in the 89th minute on a header by Nkosi Tafari. Frei had four saves in the shutout opener. He has 13 career clean sheets in postseason play for the Sounders, dating to 2014.

Maarten Paes saved three shots for Dallas, which beat the Sounders 3-1 at home in the second match. The home side has lost only one of the last 29 meetings between the clubs going back to 2014.

Dallas has lost eight of its last nine matches on the road in the postseason. The club has just two outright victories in 25 playoff matches on the road all time.


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