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Vanney’s penalty kick is enough for Los Angeles to defeat Tampa Bay 1-0

TAMPA, Fla. (Thursday, September 14, 2000) -- Greg Vanney's penalty kick in the 61st minute was enough for the Los Angeles Galaxy to record a 1-0 road victory over the T ampa Bay Mutiny tonight in the first game of their Major League Soccer first-round playoff series before 5,583 at Raymond James Stadium.

The Mutiny must tie or beat the Galaxy Wednesday night at the Rose Bowl in order to force a Game Three in Tampa September 23.

"It always to good to win on the road and it certainly helps your team's confidence," said Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid. "Our team having come off the last two games with not winning it is a shot of adrenaline and confidence that we needed. Today was a tiring game so for sure having a few extra days off going into the next game is a plus for us."

Vanney's winner came after L.A. forward Luis Hernandez took a through ball from Ezra Hendrickson, but was taken down by Mutiny defender Ritchie Kotschau in the box. Vanney nailed his fifth penalty kick in six attempts in 2000 past goalkeeper Scott Garlick.

The Mutiny, the third-highest scoring team in MLS this season, was stymied again in the playoffs, dropping its seventh consecutive playoff game and running its postseason scoring drought to 414 minutes. It was also the Mutiny’s third straight home playoff setback.

"I think it was a gutsy effort more than anything else," said L.A. defender Robin Fraser. "We came in knowing they are a very, very good attacking team and really for us to do well we would have to dig in defensively. I think that everybody rose to the challenge. Obviously, what anyone would want is to win the first game and to win the first game on the road is even better. We have put ourselves in a pretty good position to try and take care of this thing at home and not have to come back to Tampa."

Tampa Bay had only one shot on goal, that by Carlos Valderrama. Mamadou Diallo, the leading goal-scorer in MLS with 26, was held to two shots. His second, in the 88th minute, nearly tied the match. Steve Ralston's corner kick found the middle of the Galaxy box where John Maessner flicked a short header to his right where Diallo attempted a side-winding shot that went just wide of the net.

The Mutiny sorely missed midfielder Eric Quill who was out with an ankle sprain suffered in the regular-season finale against Kansas City on Saturday. The Mutiny was 8-0-2 during 2000 when Quill scored registered at least one point. Eight of his 11 assists went to Diallo, His status is questionable for Game 2.

Tampa Bay defender Chad McCarty was also absent. He is with the United States Olympic team in Australia.

The Mutiny was sharp in the first half, taking eight of its total 10 shots at a combination of Galaxy goalkeepers. Kevin Hartman started the match, but had to be replaced by Matt Reis in the 39th minute. He collided with Ralston in the 20th, then also seemed to bump his head on the post just before removing himself from the match. His status has been listed as day-to-day.

"I feel good. It was a difficult choice to force myself to leave the game, but I thought that it was the right decision," Hartman said. "I thought that I had played well while I was in there, but I took a bit if a knock and was having trouble focusing on the ball and seeing it as it moved. The more opportunities that they got, the more pivotal I thought that I was that I wasn't in there."

Valderrama’s shot came after he initiated a combination with Diallo at the top of the box. He back-heeled to Manny Lagos, who found Diallo "posting-up" basketball style, where he neatly returned to Valderrama for a curling, diagonal shot that missed the far post by a foot.

The Galaxy had two chances within a three-minute span just prior to taking the lead. A wide-open Hernandez missed an opportunity to push a ball past Garlick in the 54th on a sliding try. Brian Kelly's shot past Steve Trittschuh and Joe Addo was blocked by a prone Maessner after Garlick couldn't get back to his line.

After the Vanney PK, Mauricio Cienfuegos nearly gave the Galaxy a 2-0 lead on two occasions. His first shot in the box hit was stuffed by a charging Garlick, then his attempt at the rebound hit the near post.

Los Angeles Galaxy 1, Tampa Bay Mutiny 0

Lineups: Tampa Bay - Scott Garlick, Joseph Addo, Steve Trittschuh, Ritchie Kotschau, John Maessner, Josh Keller, Dominic Kinnear, Manuel Lagos (Manuel Bucuane 72), Steve Ralston, Carlos Valderrama, Mamadou Diallo. Los Angeles - Kevin Hartman (Matt Reis 39), Robin Fraser, Luis Hernandez (Adam Frye 81), Greg Vanney, Paul Caligiuri, Ezra Hendrickson, Simon Elliott, Brian Kelly (Sebastien Vorbe 85), Cobi Jones, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Zak Ibsen.

Los Angeles - Vanney (penalty kick) 61.

Total shots: Tampa Bay 11 (four players with 2), Los Angeles 10 (four players with 2). Shots on goal: Tampa Bay 1 (Valderrama 1), Los Angeles 3 (Cienfuegos 1, Vanney 1, Kelly 1). Saves: Tampa Bay - Garlick 1; Los Angeles - Hartman 1, Fouls: Tampa Bay 13 (Kotschau 4), Los Angeles 19 (Vanney 7). Offside: Tampa bay 5, Los Angeles 8. Corner kicks: Tampa Bay 6, Los Angeles 1. Possession percentage: Tampa Bay 53, Los Angeles 47.

Referee: Kevin Terry. Referee's assistants: George Gansner, Roger Sill. Attendance: 5,583 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. Weather: Humid, hot.

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