The Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC traded first-half goals on Saturday as the heated Western Conference rivals battled to a thrilling 1-1 draw at StubHub Center.
Both teams came into the match missing a star player as Clint Dempsey did not make the trip south for the Sounders due to an injury, while Galaxy talisman Landon Donovan was a late scratch because of a hamstring issue.
Seattle entered the clash having not scored on the road against Los Angeles in their last four meetings, but that drought came to an end in the 25th minute when Eddie Johnson got free in the box and delivered a powerful header off a Mauro Rosales corner kick and beat Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.
The Galaxy equalized on the stroke of halftime as Juninho hit a brilliant free kick up and over the wall that dipped into the bottom left corner of the net for his first goal of the season.
Both sides created ample scoring chances in the second half and the Galaxy were handed a late lifeline when Seattle defender Zach Scott was shown a second yellow card in the final minute of normal time, but the hosts could not conjure up a late winner and the teams were forced to share the spoils.
The result lifts Seattle to 50 points, two clear of second-place Real Salt Lake for the best mark in the league, while Los Angeles improved to 45 points and remain in fifth place in the West.