POR 2(7) – 2(6) KC – Playoff Game Recap

POR2v2KC Image: Vavel.com


Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City – Playoff Game Recap

A night full of drama and suspense, curtesy of two MLS Western Conference powerhouses that couldn’t get to a decision point in game time, and thus providing a thrilling penalty shootout to determine who’s getting a ticket for Major League Soccer’s 2015 playoff semifinals, and who’s going home to watch the playoffs on TV.

At the end of the long night, it came down to the two goalkeepers, whom both had to take penalty shots and in turn save, or concede not only the penalty, but their teams’ playoff faith.

The first half of the match was fierce, with no less than 17 penalties given between both teams (9 to Kansas and 8 to Portland).

The first goal of the night actually came in the second half, with Portland’s Nat Borchers heading a ball from the edge of the box, the ball got taken by Diego Valeri who created an assist for Rodney Wallace to hustle through Kansas’s defense to score the first goal of the night (57’).

Portland Timbers 1 – 0 Sporting Kansas City

Both Portland Timbers and Kansas City were trying hard for the next half an hour, to score an insurance or equalizer respectively.

As the match was nearing a close with the Timbers’ winning by a point, Sporting’s Graham Zusi curled into the box a ball from the far right, for Kevin Ellis to finish it off with a header and score an equalizer and send the match into extra time (87’).

Portland Timbers 1 – 1 Sporting Kansas City

A few minutes into the first part of added time, Sporting’s Amadou Dia passed a ball from the left into the Timbers’ box, to be picked up by teammate Krisztian Nemeth, who passed through Portland’s defenders and scored with an accurate shot into the far right (96’).

Portland Timbers 1 – 2 Sporting Kansas City

Again a few minutes before the final extra time, as the game’s result seemed to have been determined, this time with Sporting’s victory, Timber’s Dairon Asprilla took a hand throw from the right edge of the box, and shot across a precise ball to Maximiliano Urruti, who fired a precise shot into goal, sending the game into a penalty shootout (118’).

Portland Timbers 2 – 2 Sporting Kansas City

A dramatic penalty shootout ended up with a life-or-death dual between the two goalkeepers, where Portland’s keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey scored, and subsequently managed to decline Kansas City’s substitute keeper Jon Kempin (who replaced injured Tim Melia on the 84’) from scoring for Sporting.