Real Salt Lake reaches first MLS Cup final

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BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Real Salt Lake advanced to its first MLS Cup final by beating the Chicago Fire 5-4 on penalty kicks after 120 scoreless minutes in the Eastern Conference final Saturday night.

Ned Grabavoy, a substitute in the final minute of overtime, scored the winning penalty kick in the seventh round as his shot went off the fingertips of Fire goalkeeper Jon Busch.

Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando made three saves in the shootout after stopping six shots through overtime.

RSL, which joined the league in 2005, will meet Los Angeles in the MLS Cup final on Nov. 22 at Qwest Field in Seattle. The Galaxy reached the title game with a 2-0 overtime win against Houston on Friday.

The Fire have lost three consecutive conference finals, and this game was the first to reach penalties since D.C. defeated New England in 2004.

Salt Lake nearly scored in the final seconds of regulation but forward Robbie Findley's shot from the top of the box was cleared off the line by John Thorrington.

Fire forward Brian McBride saw his header hit the crossbar in the 27th minute, and midfielder Marco Pappa had a shot in the 67th minute saved by a diving Rimando.

This is the second time this season Chicago has lost on penalties. The Fire lost the SuperLiga final 2-1 via the tiebreaker to Tigres of Mexico on June 27

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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