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MLS Playoffs

Galaxy, Wizards To Meet in West Final

Associated Press
Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page E08

Carlos Ruiz and Tyrone Marshall scored in the first half to help the Los Angeles Galaxy beat the visiting Colorado Rapids, 2-0, last night and advance to the Western Conference final with a 2-1 win in the home-and-home, total-goals series.

The Rapids beat the Galaxy, 1-0, Oct. 22 in Denver, but Los Angeles quickly erased that deficit. After hitting the crossbar twice in the first 20 minutes, the Galaxy scored in the 30th when Ruiz beat goalkeeper Joe Cannon in front of the goal.

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The decisive second goal came in the third minute of stoppage time in the first half. Chris Albright's header went off Rapids defender Ricky Lewis to Marshall, who scored on a short-range shot.

Colorado nearly scored during stoppage time in the second half, but Los Angeles goalkeeper Kevin Hartman deflected away Nat Borchers's long-range shot.

The Galaxy will play at Kansas City on Friday night in the conference final. Los Angeles is trying to advance to its fifth MLS Cup -- the Galaxy won its lone title in 2002. This year's MLS Cup will be played Nov. 14 in Carson, Calif.

Kansas City went 2-0-2 against Los Angeles during the regular season.

• WIZARDS 3, EARTHQUAKES 0: Jack Jewsbury's goal in injury time gave Kansas City a win over San Jose, sending the Wizards to the Western Conference final with a 3-2 victory in the home-and-home, total-goals series.

After losing 2-0 to the Earthquakes last Sunday, Kansas City appeared to have at least forced overtime when it led 2-0 late in the second half of the rematch. Then, in the second minute of injury time, Jewsbury received a pass from Igor Simutenkov just outside the penalty area and shot the ball in off the left post.

Kansas City opened the scoring yesterday in the 26th minute when rookie Khari Stephenson, making his first professional start, settled Jewsbury's pass and beat goalkeeper Pat Onstad from the middle of the penalty area.

The Wizards tied the series on an own goal in the 48th minute. Alex Zotinca lofted the ball toward a breaking Jimmy Conrad, and San Jose's Brian Ching stuck his left foot out and tipped the ball in by accident.


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