The game in 100 words (or
less more): Major League Soccer has never known a more insane, nonsensical, I’m-at-a-loss-for-words game in its 20 years of existence. The Portland Timbers are on to the Western Conference semifinals after defeating Sporting Kansas City, 2-2 after extra time (7-6 in 11 rounds of penalty kicks), but that doesn’t even begin to tell part of the story. Rodney Wallace gave the hosts a second-half lead, but Kevin Ellis equalized just before full time and Krisztian Nemeth scored a stunning goal six minutes into extra time, but Maximiliano Urruti equalized with two minutes of extra time remaining. The game could have had as many as four red cards — Ellis, Wallace, Nemeth and Fanendo Adi. The game went to penalty kick — 11 rounds — before it was decided. The crazy penalty kick shootout moment to ever occur occurred (watch below, in all its insanity). The Timbers will face the no. 2-seed Vancouver Whitecaps in the conference semifinals beginning on Sunday. Sporting KC’s season is over, with a single trophy, the 2015 U.S. Open Cup, to show for their efforts. Three Four Five moments that mattered
57′ — Wallace toe-pokes one past Melia — You just have to clear the ball better than this, Sporting KC. Especially this time of year, with your season on the line with practically every kick of the ball in and around your penalty area. They didn’t, and the ball eventually fell to Wallace, who took his chance expertly.
87′ — Ellis skies over Ridgewell to equalize late on — Graham Zusi had himself a rough night for 86 minutes, but with 87 minutes on the clock, the USMNT midfielder delivered his first bit of real class on the night. The cross was quality, but Ellis seemed to levitate inside the box and pulled Sporting KC even very late on.
96′ — Nemeth’s moment of brilliance makes it 2-1 — Oh. My. Word. What a goal from Krisztian Nemeth, who — let’s get this out of the way no — should have been shown straight red in the 76th minute, continues to score stunning, massive goals for this Sporting KC side.
118′ — Urruti hammers a late equalizer past Kempin — Two minutes plus stoppage time left in his side’s season, Dairon Asprilla blazed a cross across the penalty area to Urruti was waiting. Urruti hammered his shot past Jon Kempin, who replaced Tim Melia in the 84th minute (concussion).
AET — The penalty kick shootout — There were 11 rounds, which — yes — means goalkeeper penalties. It ended in the 11th round, but that’s not what’s important here. Check out what Saad Abdul-Salaam did in the ninth round of spot kicks. MLS is insane. Clinically insane.
Man of the match: Rodney Wallace
Goalscorers: Wallace (57′), Ellis (87′), Nemeth (96′), Urruti (118′)