Clint Dempsey scored twice as the Seattle Sounders beat the Vancouver Whitecaps 1-0 in the second leg of their Western Conference semifinal on Thursday night at CenturyLink Field.
The double by Dempsey comes in his first postseason action since 2015 and puts the Sounders into the conference finals.
A wide-open first 20 minutes saw Seattle get the better of the chances, as Dempsey shot wide with a 20-yard strike before Will Bruin steered a Kelvin Leerdam pass right at Stefan Marinovic in the Vancouver goal.
Nouhou Tolo was hauled down in the Vancouver penalty area after Nicolas Lodeiro played him through, but the referee waved off Seattle's penalty shout after checking the play on VAR.
Dempsey had one last chance before the half to get the hosts on the scoreboard, but he mis-hit his volley at the back post from a perfect Lodeiro cross and the teams went to the locker room tied 0-0.
Seattle found the all-important opener in the 56th minute when, after a neat build-up, Dempsey settled the ball at the top of the penalty area and lashed home an unstoppable left-footed shot to finally break the deadlock between the two teams.
Chasing a goal, Vancouver opened up its game and had a golden chance go to waste when Christian Bolanos headed Marcel de Jong's pass over the Seattle defense right at goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
With full-time approaching, Dempsey popped up at the back post to seal matters for Seattle, volleying home from a lovely Víctor Rodríguez pass to make it 2-0.
Seattle now goes on to face the winner of Sunday's second leg between Portland Timbers and the Houston Dynamo, which is even at 0-0 after the first leg.