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Sounders top FCD for 5th straight win, inch closer to playoffs

MLS Sounders FC Dallas Soccer

Seattle Sounders midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro (10) exults as FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo (7) lies on the turf at the end of an MLS soccer western conference semifinal playoff match Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016 in Frisco, Texas. Though Dallas won 2-1, Seattle advanced in the playoffs on aggregate score. (AP Photo/Jeffrey McWhorter)

AP

The game in 200 words (or less): The Western Conference playoff race gets the slightest bit tighter with every game played, it would appear. Coming into the weekend finale, only four points separated second place from sixth place. FC Dallas, who sat atop the West standings had a chance to go six points clear of everyone else, if they could muster a victory away to the Seattle Sounders. Oscar Pareja’s side couldn’t do any such thing on Sunday. As a result, Seattle made the race at the other end of the playoff race that much more interesting, moving to within three points of the sixth and final playoff place. On the whole, seven points separate second from eighth. Chad Marshall opened the scoring before Dominique Badji pulled the visitors early in the second half. Nicolas Lodeiro bagged the game-winner — in somewhat fortunate circumstances — just after the hour mark, and just like that, Brian Schmetzer’s side has won five in a row and still has a game in hand on the two teams currently standing between them and a playoff place.

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Three moments that mattered

41' — Marshall heads home Seattle’s 10th corner — If you give a team enough corner kicks, the will eventually (presumably) score one of them.

52' — Badji gets a goal on his FCD debut — Sometimes you just have to put a chest on the ball to bundle it over the line.

63' — Lodeiro’s free kick keeps going until it hits the net — Jesse Gonzalez assumed someone would get a head on Lodeiro’s free kick, eventually. No such touch ever came, and Lodeiro was rewarded for putting the ball into such a dangerous spot at the back post.

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Man of the match: Nicolas Lodeiro

Goalscorers: Marshall (41'), Badji (52'), Lodeiro (63')

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