Houston Dynamo set up a rematch with LA Galaxy in the final of the MLS Cup Playoffs after both teams prevailed in the semi-finals on Sunday.
Houston managed a 1-1 draw away to DC United in the second leg of their tie on Sunday, enough for a 4-2 aggregate win and a place in the season decider on December 1.
Later the same day, Galaxy went down 2-1 away to Seattle Sounders, but still advanced to the final, also winning 4-2 on aggregate.
LA and Houston met in the final of the 2011 MLS Cup, when Landon Donovan’s goal saw Galaxy win 1-0 and record their third championship victory in the competition’s history.
Houston earned a shot at avenging that defeat thanks to Oscar Boniek Garcia’s 33rd-minute strike at RFK Stadium.
Branko Boskovic got one back for DC with seven minutes remaining, but it arrived too late for the home side to mount a fight-back.
The hosts had started the match on the front foot, knowing they needed two goals to level the tie.
Houston though were up for the challenge and defended admirably, as Bobby Boswell and Jermaine Taylor helped control the centre of defence.
Midway through the first half, Houston grabbed a killer goal to nearly put the series out of reach.
Brad Davis dribbled through United’s back line and teed up Garcia, who made no mistake and blasted home from close range.
With 30 minutes to play, DC used their final substitution to bring on Dwayne De Rosario, who made his first appearance since suffering a knee injury in September.
United had a few good chances to get back into the game, but Hamdi Salihi let two quality chances pass by without getting a shot away, and then Maicon Santos headed well over from only eight yards out.
The home side gained a small glimmer of hope when Boskovic pushed through the Houston defence after a neat one-two and beat Tally Hall low at his near post, but it was not enough to salvage DC United’s fading hopes.
Later, goals from Eddie Johnson and Zach Scott saw the Sounders take a 2-0 lead at home to the Galaxy, and close to within one goal of levelling their series.
Veteran striker Robbie Keane struck on 68 minutes to restore LA’s two-goal cushion, and the Sounders proved unable to force a way back into the contest.
Their challenge ended on a sour note when Osvaldo Alonso was sent off five minutes into time added on.
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