“You can’t win a two-leg series in the first 45 minutes, but you sure can lose it.”
If the above proverb isn’t a part of every Major League Soccer team’s ‘Intro to the Playoffs’ syllabus, then it should be. Just ask the Columbus Crew, who learned a lesson or two on Saturday, the hard way.
Real Salt Lake and the LA Galaxy both proved well aware of this
timeless brand new adage as the pair of battle-hardened, MLS Cup Playoffs-experienced sides battled to a 0-0 stalemate at halftime of their Western Conference first leg matchup.
The first half wasn’t without its share of goalscoring opportunities, though, as both sides had legitimate claims to having been wronged by incorrect offside calls. Real Salt Lake forward Joao Plata looked to be through on goal in the 23rd minute, while LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes actually tucked into the far post a Landon Donovan pass in the 38th minute.
0-0 on the real-life scoreboard, 1-1 on the metaphorical “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” scoreboard.
Perhaps both sides should be thankful their goalscoring chances were halted, considering this stat from Opta:
— OptaJack (@OptaJack) November 2, 2014