Galaxy rocket past Dynamo, into U.S. Open Cup final
CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan scored and Kevin Hartman stopped a penalty kick late in the first half to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday night in the semifinals of the U.S. Open Cup soccer tournament. The Galaxy, the tournament's defending champion, will face the Chicago Fire for the title on Sept. 27. Chicago advanced to the finals with a 3-0 victory over D.C. United on Wednesday. Donovan put the Galaxy ahead for good against Houston when he broke a 1-1 tie in the 44th minute, curling a 23-yard kick past Dynamo goalkeeper Pat Onstad. It was his third goal of the tournament. Dwayne De Rosario had a chance to tie the score a minute later on a penalty kick after the Galaxy's Ugo Ihemelu fouled Alejandro Moreno, but Hartman dived to his right to deflect the ball with both hands. Wade Barrett secured the rebound, but his 10-yard shot sailed slightly high. The Galaxy had jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute on a leaping 4-yard header by Alan Gordon off Landon Donovan's corner kick. De Rosario tied the score in the 12th minute on a 22-yard shot that sailed between Hartman and the left post. The Galaxy's Santino Quaranta completed the scoring in second-half stoppage time with a 14-yard shot between Onstad and the right post. The U.S. Open Cup, which began in 1914, matches amateur and professional teams for the domestic soccer championship. Los Angeles will be making its fourth finals appearance in six years as it attempts to become the first team to win consecutive U.S. Open Cup championships since the amateur New York Pancyprian Freedoms accomplished the feat in 1982 and 1983.