Seattle Sounders 1, FC Dallas 0 | 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs Match Recap
Seattle found the breakthrough in the 49th minute when Shane O’Neill headed home from six yards out for the 1-0 lead. The center back latched onto an out-swinging corner kick from Nicolas Lodeiro after Yeimar Gomez Andrade set a pick on O’Neill’s marker, then made no mistake in finishing past Jimmy Maurer.
Dallas came agonizingly close to an equalizer in the 63rd minute, when presented with two golden chances. Michael Barrios first fired a Ryan Hollingshead cross from the left flank off the post, only for Andrade to provide a goal-line clearance on Andres Ricaurte’s follow-up effort.
While the game opened up in the second half, it was a relative stalemate during the first 45 minutes. Seattle held a 9-4 shots advantage at halftime, but neither team landed one on target. Dallas attempted 10 shots during the game, but none were on target.
- 49' – SEA – Shane O'Neill | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Seattle, defending MLS Cup champions, are one game away from making their fourth final in the last five years. It’s a remarkable run from the Pacific Northwest club, with the Dallas game necessitating a different approach than vs. LAFC in Round One. As for Luchi Gonzalez’s team, they bow out in the playoffs against Seattle for the second straight year. They upset Portland in Round One, then couldn’t turn a first-half defensive shell into a second-half equalizer.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: You’d normally expect Jordan Morris or Raul Ruidiaz to score for Seattle, or perhaps even Nicolas Lodeiro. Instead, it was Shane O’Neill who gave the Sounders a 1-0 lead early into the second half, marking his first MLS goal since May 2014 when he was with the Colorado Rapids.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Nicolas Lodeiro now has an assist in six straight playoff games, which is an MLS record. Whether it was providing key passes, tireless running or an outlet on the break, the Uruguayan maestro produced a vintage performance. He had a touching pre-game tribute to Diego Maradona, too.
For Diego.— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) December 2, 2020
🔟 Forever. pic.twitter.com/OsbWpRtDkH