CARSON -- The Galaxy saw their advantage disappear quickly Thursday night, with Luke Rodgers finishing an exquisite through ball from Thierry Henry, but the real advantage -- that right foot of David Beckham's -- held sway at the end.
Beckham found Mike Magee to head home a corner kick late in the first half and drew a second-half penalty kick that Landon Donovan converted, and L.A. claimed a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls to win their first-round playoff series and advance to the Western Conference final for the third successive season.
Magee, who scored the lone goal in the Galaxy's first-leg victory Sunday afternoon in Harrison, N.J., nodded Beckham's 42nd-minute serve over New York goalkeeper Frank Rost and into the ceiling of the net to answer Rodgers' fourth-minute finish.
Donovan made it 2-1 in the 74th minute, beating Rost from the spot after Red Bulls left back Roy Miller kicked Beckham from behind in the New York box.
Rodgers gave New York a fourth-minute lead, angling inside Omar Gonzalez and beating onrushing Josh Saunders to Henry's ball, clipping it past the goalkeeper and inside the right post.
The Galaxy had several opportunities to tie the score before Magee did so, mostly through Robbie Keane, but Rost made three superb saves, the best in succession on a 40-yard bomb by Chris Birchall, who stepped in for suspended midfielder Juninho, and Keane's rebound.
The Galaxy will be home for Sunday's Western Conference final at 6 p.m. against Real Salt Lake, with the winner advancing to face Sporting Kansas City or the Houston Dynamo in the Nov. 20 MLS Cup final at Home Depot Center.
Home Depot Center (Carson)
Galaxy 2, New York Red Bulls 1
(Galaxy advance on aggregate, 3-1)
NY -- Luke Rodgers (Thierry Henry) 4
LA -- Mike Magee (David Beckham) 42
LA -- Landon Donovan pen. 74
Galaxy: Josh Saunders; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant; Landon Donovan, David Beckham (Michael Stephens, 79), Chris Birchall, Mike Magee; Chad Barrett (Adam Cristman, 81), Robbie Keane (Paolo Cardozo, 89). Unused subs: Frankie Hejduk, Jovan Kirovski, Donovan Ricketts, Dasan Robinson.
New York Red Bulls: Frank Rost; Jan Gunnar Solli, Stephen Keel, Tim Ream, Roy Miller; Dane Richards, Dax McCarty (Juan Agudelo, 64), Teemu Tainio (Stephane Auvray, 16), Joel Lindpere (Mehdi Ballouchy, 87); Luke Rodgers, Thierry Henry. Unused subs: Bouna Coundoul, Matt Kassel, Carlos Mendes.
Yellow cards: Rodgers 5, Donovan 47+, Henry 62, Solli 81.
Referee: Hilario Grajeda. Att.: 20,000.