Harrison, New Jersey, Nov 9: D.C. United and Seattle Sounders both pulled off impressive away wins with late goals on Thursday to progress to the last four in the Major League Soccer playoffs.
Nick DeLeon scored the winning goal in the 88th minute as D.C. United advanced to the Eastern Conference final with a 1-0 victory over the New York Red Bulls.
United advanced 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-1 draw in Washington on Saturday, and set up a conference final against Houston Dynamo.
Seattle won 1-0 at Real Salt Lake, scoring the only goal over the two legs. Mario Martinez ended a season-long scoring drought with the sole goal in the 81st minute.
The Sounders will play Los Angeles Galaxy in the West final.
In a game that was postponed a day by snow, the Red Bulls appeared poised to take the lead in the 69th minute when they were awarded a penalty as D.C. United goalie Bill Hamid was given a red card.
Kenny Cooper netted the penalty but it was disallowed for encroachment, then D.C. backup keeper Joe Willis made a crucial save on the second attempt.
The winning goal came when Robbie Russell's through-ball sent DeLeon in on goal alone and he put his chance away past Red Bulls keeper Luis Robles, who was hardly tested all game.
The Red Bulls' man-advantage only lasted until the 75th when veteran Mexicna defender Rafa Marquez was ejected after receiving his second yellow card.
D.C. United has not won the Eastern Conference since 2004, when it went on to claim the MLS Cup title.
For New York, it is another fruitless season, with the 1996 foundation club having never won the MLS crown.
Seattle's Fredy Montero set up the winning goal when he swung a cross out to Martinez on the left side of the box. The pass drew Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando toward the left post. Martinez fired at the opposite post and buried the ball in the right corner.
The Sounders had been winless in three games against RSL during the regular season and failed to score in any of them.