Real Salt Lake defeated the Seattle Sounders 6-5 on penalty kicks after a scoreless draw in Round One of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs at Lumen Field on Tuesday night.
Neither team could find a first-half breakthrough and went to the locker room scoreless. The Sounders had seven shots to RSL’s zero, but Seattle couldn’t get a shot on goal.
The Sounders came closest in the 15th minute when Nicolas Benezet got free in the six-yard box and dropped a pass for Jordan Morris, whose shot was blocked. Brad Smith and Cristian Roldan then each had subsequent shots blocked as well.
The Sounders nearly took the lead in the 50th minute when they had a 4-on-3 counterattack but Morris’ shot was over the crossbar.
Raúl Ruidíaz, who was coming off a hamstring strain and entered the match at halftime, rattled the crossbar on a half-volley in the 73rd minute that had David Ochoa beat. Yeimar then almost found the opener five minutes later when his header off a João Paulo free kick was straight at Ochoa.
The match finished tied in regulation and went to extra time where neither team was able to find the back of the net. The Sounders outshot RSL 21-0, but had just three on target, and won the corner kick battle 15-1. They also had 62% possession.
Home winning streak ends
The Sounders’ league-record 15-match postseason home winning streak came to an end when the match ended in extra time and went to penalties. The result officially goes down as a draw.
Morris’ first start since MLS Cup 2020
For the first time in nearly a full calendar year, Morris started for the Sounders. He made his third appearance since returning from an ACL injury he suffered in February and was a lively participant, running at RSL’s back line for an impressive 103 minutes.
Looking ahead to 2022
The Sounders’ 2021 season is in the books. Seattle, which also earned a 2022 Concacaf Champions League spot, will open next season’s campaign at home on Feb. 27 against Nashville SC.