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  • October 31, 2010
  • • 8:07 PM
  • • CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
  • Referee: R. Salazar
  • • Attendance: 35521
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Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 Los Angeles Galaxy: Edson Buddle Bomb Breaks Seattle's Back

Seattle Sounders FC 0-1 Los Angeles Galaxy: Edson Buddle Bomb Breaks Seattle's Back

SEATTLE - The Los Angeles Galaxy rode a highlight-reel goal from Edson Buddle and a cynically impressive defensive performance to a 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC.

In front of 35,521 fans the hosts failed to beat an entrenched backline or the acrobatic Donovan Ricketts, falling in the MLS playoff first round first leg.

First Half

There was no time for mucking about, apparently. Seattle got right to business by putting the ball in the back of the net before the first minute had expired.

Osvaldo Alonso twisted and turned at the top of the box before cracking a solid shot from distance. Donovan Ricketts parried, but the rebound fell to Steve Zakuani, who coolly slotted home. However, the goal was correctly called back for offside.

The Galaxy knuckled down immediately following that and enacted its gameplan.

With the midfield and defensive lines close together and narrow, LA kept ruthlessly organized. In addition, they harried and roughhoused anyone on the ball. Seattle's slick passing game, unaccustomed to the brutality the likes of Dema Kovalenko offer, wilted, frequently turning the ball over when attempting to play through the middle.

Sounders FC players also lashed back. After being pushed, James Riley let emotions get the better of him with a late tackle on Landon Donovan which probably deserved a booking. However, referee Ricardo Salazar was determined to keep his cards in his pocket through the half, regardless of the severity of infraction.

Seattle's best chances came from long-distance shots, with the pacy wingers unable to turn their markers. However, Ricketts came up with seven saves in the first half alone, most of them of the highest caliber.

The double save in the 23rd minute stood out. After pushing a Fredy Montero shot out for a corner, the Jamaican had to react instantly to a point-blank header when Montero connected with the set piece delivery.

Ricketts even involved himself in the attack. It was his goalkick which eventually found Edson Buddle in the 38th minute. The U.S. international trapped with one touch and fired a stunning dipping volley with the second. From a full 35 yards it dropped behind Kasey Keller into the goal.

The sheer audacity of the attempt was enough to decide any playoff tie.



Second Half

The second half started just like the first, with Zakuani going close early on.

However, the difference between the halves was that referee Salazar found his cards. Juninho and Montero picked up bookings within a few minutes of each other as the scrappy nature of the match continued.

Kovalenko duly collected his long overdue booking midway through the half and was replaced by Chris Birchall before he could attract the inevitable ejection.

Seattle continued to throw everything at Ricketts, knowing a home loss probably meant another first round playoff exit. Nate Jaqua and Alvaro Fernandez entered the fray as the Sounders looked for more options in attack.

Jaqua spurned Seattle's best chance when Zakuani tapped the ball through the backline. However, Jaqua scuffed his shot straight into Ricketts.

LA continued to dictate proceedings, using superior experience and organization to limit Seattle to low-percentage options. Juninho nearly doubled the lead on a typically ruthless counter when he cut his shot a few inches wide of the post.

The Galaxy will now take the one goal lead back to California for the second leg.

Keep updated with Major League Soccer throughout the playoffs by visiting Goal.com's MLS page and joining Goal.com USA's Facebook fan page!

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