Three minutes into the second half, Seattle won a corner. Nicolas Lodeiro took it, with O’Neill reaching the ball at the six-yard line, heading it away to the far post of Dallas’ goal. There was no chance for Jimmy Maurer, the guests’ goalkeeper, to prevent a score. This was the first shot on target in the entire match.
For O’Neill, the 27-year old defender from the Republic of Ireland, this was the second goal in his entire MLS career, but for sure, the most important so far.
The match was poor with beauty and flair, as both sides had tactical gameplans that needed to be followed. Dallas was preventing the Sounders’ furious upfront trio Ruidiaz-Morris-Lodeiro to create a swing. On the other side, Brian Schmetzer didn’t want to expose his back line to any potential dangers regarding counter-attacks.
That is why there were no shots on target in the opening half, even though we saw 13 goal attempts.
FC Dallas had two magnificent chances to tie the match, relatively shortly following a conceded goal. It was the 63rd minute, with Michael Barrios’ header hit the post, deflecting back to the field, directly to Andres Ricaurte. Dallas’ no.10 took a shot towards the net, but Sounders’ defender Yeimar Gomez stopped it at the goal line, saving his team. It was the match’s turning point, as we haven’t seen any notable attacks from the visitors until the end of the event.
For the second straight year, Seattle routs Dallas in the playoffs, and continues towards the West Finals. The last time, Schmetzer’s boys beat the rivals from Texas, 4-3, after overtimes, and with Morris’ fantastic performance, during which he scored three goals. This time it was different, but the Sounders got what they wanted.-->
Up next, they await to find out the name of the rivals. Seattle will face the winner of the Sporting Kansas City vs. Minnesota United clash, which takes place this Thursday at Children’s Mercy Park. If SKC wins, the Sounders will be the guests in that one, but if Minnesota advances, they will host United.