The Galaxy advanced in the Audi 2016 MLS Cup playoffs, dominating a rudderless Real Salt Lake 3-1 before 18,124 on a cool Wednesday evening.
With the win, LA will now battle the Colorado Rapids in a two-game series, starting this Sunday at the StubHub Center.
Bruce opted to field a 4-5-1 formation with Alan Gordon up top and Giovani dos Santos operating underneath.
And LA started off the brighter side. Early on, Sebastian Lletget neatly turned past Kyle Beckerman and layed a ball off for Emmanuel Boateng, who’s cross just missed the sliding Gordon.
Gordon would be not be denied again however, and in the 14th minute, Landon Donovan beat Demar Philips to the right end line and chipped in a cross that Gio just got a head on, and the deflection bounced over keeper Nick Rimando right to Gordon who punched the ball home.
The Galaxy’s celebrations were short lived, as Emmanuel Boateng was harshly ruled to have tripped Javier Morales in the box, and Joao Plata converted the penalty into the left corner past an outstretched Brian Rowe, ending a streak of 261 consecutive minutes without conceding a goal.
The Galaxy continued to press, and Alan Gordon somehow missed a sitter when dos Santos’ curling cross perfectly met the center forward but he pushed his glancing header from close range wide.
Then, Emmanuel Boateng decided to take over.
First Boateng squeezed between two Real Salt Lake defenders before beating Rimando with a low finish.
Not that the Ghanian was done. A confident Boateng would seal the deal for LA nine minutes later, cutting inside Demar Phillips before sliding a simple finish past a defeated Rimando to give LA a two-goal advantage that would hold up.
RSL pressed to get back in the match, but LA never looked in trouble as the second half slowly but surely grinded to a finish.