Albert Rusnak and Jordan Morris scored as the Seattle Sounders defeated visiting FC Dallas 2-0 Monday night in the opening game of a best-of-three MLS Western Conference first-round playoff series.
Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday night in Frisco, Texas. The third game, if necessary, would be played in Seattle on Nov. 10.
The Sounders and Dallas both entered the postseason on nine-game unbeaten streaks, but Seattle kept possession for 57 percent of the match and had a 19-10 edge in shots.
Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who had a league-leading 14 shutouts in the regular season, made four saves to post another.
Maarten Paes made four saves for Dallas, which dropped to 0-14-4 in matches played in Seattle since 2012.
Rusnak converted from the penalty spot in the 43rd minute after FC Dallas’ Marco Farfan was whistled for bringing down Cristian Roldan along the end line just inside the right corner of the 18-yard box. Rusnak put a low shot just out of the reach of Paes that deflected off the left post and into the back of the net.
Morris scored on a leaping header from the top of the 6-yard box in the 74th minute off a cross from the left corner by Nouhou Tolo.
Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira had a pair of strong opportunities off Sounders turnovers in the first half but couldn’t convert.
In the 23rd minute, Paxton Pomykal intercepted a Seattle pass and fed Ferreira near the top of the 18-yard box. Frei charged off his line and made a kick save on Ferreira’s 15-yard attempt. Four minutes later, Jader Obrian forced a turnover and got the ball to Ferreira, but his shot from 10 yards out sailed well over the crossbar.
Paes made three saves in the first half, the best a diving stop on a 12-yard shot from Alex Roldan in the 40th minute.
Dallas’ Alan Velasco had to be subbed off in the 18th minute with an apparent left knee injury after colliding with Alex Roldan.
–Field Level Media
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