Galaxy end Whitecaps' season
CARSON, Calif. — The Vancouver Whitecaps saw their Major League Soccer season end Thursday night with a 2-1 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Landon Donovan’s penalty-kick goal in the 73rd minute gave the defending-champion Galaxy the come-from-behind win at the Home Depot Center.
L.A., which finished fourth in the Western Conference, will now meet the first-place San Jose Earthquakes in a two-game, total-goals series.
Mike Magee also scored for Los Angeles. Darren Mattocks scored Vancouver’s lone goal.
The Whitecaps posted just three victories in the second half of the 34-game regular season, but looked like they would pull off a major upset after Mattocks scored when the game had barely begun.
L.A. had earned home-field advantage in the do-or-die game by finishing fourth in the Western Conference.
The Whitecaps placed fifth, getting into the playoffs as a result of a Seattle victory over Dallas.
Donovan was awarded the spot kick after Whitecaps second-half substitute Martin Bonjour knocked him down from behind.
The foul came just a minute after Bonjour entered the game for injured captain Jay DeMerit.
Magee tied the game in the 69th minute as he volleyed a cross behind Vancouver goalkeeper Brad Knighton from the centre of the 18-yard box.
L.A. pressed several times in the first half, but the scoring attempts were either thwarted by timely Vancouver defensive plays, including a number of blocked shots, or saves by Knighton.
Mattocks opened the scoring in the fourth minute.