COLUMBUS - MLS Cup champions Real
Salt Lake were eliminated from the Major League Soccer
play-offs by FC Dallas on Saturday, while the Colorado Rapids
advanced to the Eastern Conference final against the San Jose
Real Salt Lake, trailing 2-1 from the first leg, could only
draw 1-1 with Dallas despite an enormous effort in the final 30
minutes when they lay siege to the Dallas goal.
Dallas had gone ahead in the 17th minute when Brek Shea
chested down to Dax McCarty who confidently drove home.
Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman was in inspired form,
producing a string of saves to keep his side's two-goal lead
U.S. striker Robbie Findley scored from close range with 10
minutes left to bring Salt Lake within a goal of extra-time but
Hartman kept Real out to help Dallas reach the conference
finals for the first time since 1999.
Dallas will play the winners of Sunday's other Western
Conference game between the L.A Galaxy and the Seattle
Sounders. The Galaxy, with home advantage, have a one goal lead
from the first leg.
Colorado travelled to Columbus with a 1-0 advantage from
the first leg but were headed for an aggregate defeat as they
trailed 2-0 with six minutes of regular time remaining.
But a goal from U.S international Conor Casey took the game
into extra time and a penalty shootout, where Colorado won 5-4
when Crew defender Brian Carroll missed his team's final kick.
The Crew's Eddie Gaven had levelled the aggregate score in
the 22nd minute with a close range effort following a cross
from Guillermo Barros Schelotto that caused some confusion in
the Colorado box.
Columbus went up 2-0 when Emmanuel Ekpo picked out Robbie
Rogers with a superb through ball and the winger showed
excellent composure with his finish.
The Crew's hopes began to fade though in the 84th minute
when Casey stretched to steer in an Omar Cummings cross at the
near post to force extra-time.
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