The Sounders advance to host FC Dallas Tuesday in the Conference Semifinals, while LAFC’s topsy-turvy season ended with a Round One defeat.
The Sounders raced in front in the 18th minute when Jordan Morris ran onto a cross-field pass from Raul Ruidiaz and laid off for Nico Lodeiro. The Uruguayan Designated Player did the rest, firing a first time shot past a rooted Pablo Sisniega.
But Vela put his attempt directly into the arms of Stefan Frei, only the fifth penalty kick the Mexican failed to covert in 30 all-time attempts.
Jordan Morris had a clear chance to double the Sounders lead in the 54th minute with Nouhou laying the ball off. But Morris put his open shot in the box wide of the far post.
Morris and Lodeiro hit the woodwork in quick succession at the hour mark, opportunities, if converted, would have put the game to bed.
Ruidiaz, though, wouldn’t miss in the 66th minute, running onto a deflected ball off a Lodeiro corner kick and firing clinically into the side netting for his eighth goal in seven playoff games.
A sliding effort by Eduard Atuesta after latching onto a Vela service in the 77th minute gave LAFC a brief lifeline, but Morris put the match away three minutes later with Lodeiro and Ruidiaz setting things up on a well-worked goal.
Mark-Anthony Kaye was denied LAFC's second goal two minutes from full time, when he was ruled offside following Video Review.
- 18’ — SEA — Nico Lodeiro | WATCH
- 66’ — SEA — Raul Ruidiaz | WATCH
- 77’ — LAFC — Eduard Atuesta | WATCH
- 80’ — SEA — Jordan Morris | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: The Sounders just seem to always rise to the occasion in the postseason and that was the case again Tuesday night. They always seemed in control and the front three of Ruidiaz-Morris-Lodeiro could have added two or three more goals on the night. You wonder how different the game might have been if LAFC had their South American quartet of Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios available.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Nearly immediately after Lodeiro put the Sounders in front, Vela had a golden chance to level from the penalty spot. Usually automatic, the Mexican superstar flubbed his opportunity.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: You couldn’t go wrong with Lodeiro, Ruidiaz or Morris. We’ll go with Ruidiaz for his goal and two assists.
- SEA: Tuesday, Dec. 1 vs. FC Dallas (9:30 pm ET | FS1, Fox Deportes in US; TSN, TVA Sports in Canada) | Audi 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals
- LAFC: End of season