Seattle advances behind 0-0 draw with Dallas

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SEATTLE (AP) -- The Seattle Sounders advanced to the MLS Cup Western Conference finals for the second time in franchise history despite playing to a 0-0 draw with FC Dallas in the second leg of the conference semifinals on Monday night. The two-leg series finished tied 1-1 on aggregate but Seattle moved on thanks to its road goal in the first game in Dallas. Road goals were implemented as a tiebreaker this year. The Sounders were able to avoid the perils of the last two Supporters' Shield winners by advancing from the conference semifinals. San Jose in 2012 and New York last season both finished as regular season champions but were bounced in the conference semifinals. Seattle will face rival Los Angeles in the Western Conference finals. Seattle had plenty of chances from Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins to give itself a cushion but the match remained tense into stoppage time. Mauro Diaz's free kick from 30 yards in the second minute of stoppage time was bounced around the penalty area and deflected wide for a corner kick that was cleared from danger. It capped a wild second half where Seattle had the bulk of possession and opportunities but was unable to get a shot past Dallas goalkeeper Chris Seitz. Dallas took a 1-0 lead in the first leg on Michel's penalty kick in the first half, but Seattle got the crucial equalizer on Osvaldo Alonso's second-half header that gave the Sounders the advantage coming home. Seattle lost Alonso in the 55th minute on Monday when he pulled up grabbing at the back of his leg in near midfield. Alonso had been playing well helping control Dallas' attack and retaining possession in the midfield. Dempsey nearly gave Seattle the lead in the 68th minute when his curling left-footed attempt deflected off a Dallas defender and skipped just wide of the net. Dempsey then was denied again in the 84th minute leaving him with his hands out in disbelief. Dallas defender Matt Hughes misplayed a ball in his own penalty area being pressured by Brad Evans. The ball fell perfectly for Dempsey, but his right-footed shot was kicked away as Seitz dived. Dempsey also had two shots on net blocked aside by Seitz in the first half and Chad Marshall's header off a corner kick in the 28th minute was cleared off the line by Michel. Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei got the shutout, but Dallas' offensive chances were limited despite the return of Diaz after he was suspended for the first leg.