SANTA CLARA: Republic of Ireland captain Robbie Keane scored twice Wednesday to lead the Los Angeles Galaxy to a 3-1 victory over San Jose and into the Western Conference final of Major League Soccer’s playoffs.
The victory gave the Galaxy a 3-2 aggregate triumph in the two-match tie, and spelled the end of a stellar season for San Jose that saw the Earthquakes earn the Supporters’ Shield as the club with the best regular-season record in MLS.
The victory means the Galaxy and star David Beckham remain in the hunt for a second consecutive MLS Cup crown.
Their triumph last year gave Beckham league titles in three different countries and he made it clear he was after a repeat.
“There’s no season that can be a success if you don’t win any silverware at the end of it,” Beckham said.
“We had a taste of it last season and we enjoyed it. We loved it. Any season without a championship is unsuccessful.”
The Earthquakes were dealt an early blow when defender Victor Bernardez, who scored the lone goal in the first leg, needed to be substituted through injury.
Ike Opara entered the match in the 12th minute and the Galaxy scored nine minutes later.
Keane, given time and space in the middle, fired a low shot off the inside of Jon Busch’s post and into the back of the net.
The Galaxy added another in the 34th minute when Tommy Meyer’s long ball found Landon Donovan on the right flank.
Donovan connected with Keane on a well-timed run and pass, with Keane needing one touch to get around Busch and slot the ball home.
Five minutes later, Donovan delivered a ball for Mike Magee to fire past Busch, a goal that proved the one to clinch the tie after Alan Gordon pulled one back for San Jose.
In the Western Conference final the Galaxy will face either Seattle or Real Salt Lake.
They were to meet on Thursday, after opening their tie with a goalless draw last week.
The Houston Dynamo advanced on aggregate to the Eastern Conference final, despite falling 1-0 at Sporting Kansas City. Houston had won Sunday’s opening leg 2-0.
They await either New York Red Bulls or DC United, whose match was postponed because of heavy snow at Red Bull Arena.
Meanwhile heavy snow forced the postponement of the New York Red Bulls’ do-or-die Major League Soccer playoff clash with DC United on Wednesday.