(The Sports Xchange) - Emmanuel Boateng scored twice to lead LA Galaxy to a 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference playoffs on Wednesday, while in the East Toronto beat Philadelphia Union by the same score to advance.
Alan Gordon also scored for the Galaxy, who will host the Colorado Rapids on Sunday in the first match of the West’s two-leg semi-final series.
Joao Plata scored for Real Salt Lake, who ended the season with an eight-game winless streak.
Boateng broke a 1-1 tie in the 26th minute. The midfielder from Ghana received Gordon’s short pass, accelerated past three defenders into the penalty area and converted an 8-yard shot inside the left post.
Boateng’s goal compensated for his foul that enabled Real Salt Lake to tie the score. Boateng tripped Javier Morales in the penalty area in the 19th minute, and Plata converted the ensuing penalty kick two minutes later.
Boateng added his second goal in the 34th minute, when he sped past defender Demar Phillips and fired a 12-yard shot with his left foot from the right side of the penalty area inside the far post.
In Toronto, Sebastian Giovinco, Jonathan Osorio and Jozy Altidore scored to produce a 3-1 win over Philadelphia at BMO Field.
Giovinco scored in the 15th minute, Osorio in the 48th and Altidore five minutes from time as Toronto earned their first-ever playoff win in their 10-year existence.
Alejandro Bedoya scored in the 73rd minute to bring Philadelphia back within a goal, but Altidore banished all hopes of a comeback when he scored on the counterattack in the 85th minute as Philadelphia pushed for an equalizer.
Toronto will next take on New York City FC over two legs, the first on Sunday at BMO Field.
Editing by Peter Rutherford