Updated Monday, November 5, 2012 at 01:01 AM
CARSON, Calif. — Victor Bernardez scored on a free kick deep into stoppage time Sunday night to lift the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy in the opener of their Major League Soccer Western Conference semifinal playoff series.
The Honduran defender blistered the ball from 31 yards through the Galaxy wall at the top of the area and off goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who was unable to keep it from crossing the goal line.
The second leg in the aggregate series is Wednesday in Santa Clara, Calif., with the series winner advancing to a home-and-home matchup with Sounders FC or Real Salt Lake for a berth in the Dec. 1 MLS Cup final.
"It's halftime," said San Jose coach Frank Yallop, a former Galaxy coach. "It was an even game, they shaded on chances, for sure, but we're going home now ... We're one up, but 90 minutes of football is a long, long time. They're going to throw everything at us to try to get the equalizer and obviously try to go on and win."
Other playoff match
At Dynamo 2, Sporting Kansas City 0
Adam Moffat and Will Bruin scored for Houston to give the Dynamo a victory over Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
The second leg is Wednesday in Kansas City, Kan.
"If we go to Kansas City thinking that 2-0 is going to carry us to the top and take care of itself, then we are approaching the game the wrong way and I won't let them do that," Houston coach Dominic Kinnear said.