Home advantage shines through in playoffs again as Montreal & Portland advance

The knockout round of the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs concluded last night as Montreal Impact and Portland Timbers picked up home wins to advance to the conference semifinals on Sunday.

The goals continued to fly in on Thursday after an excellent opening night 24 hours earlier with a total of seven scored in the two games.

Montreal took on Canadian rivals Toronto FC at Stade Saputo in the first game and stunned the Reds by racing into a 3-0 halftime lead – a scoreline that eventually remained through the 90 minutes.

Goals from Patrice Bernier and Ignacio Piatti, who were both excellent on the night, were followed up by an inevitable Didier Drogba goal as Toronto were left dead and buried by the interval.

The loss means Toronto have lost back-to-back games to Montreal for the first time as their first ever playoff campaign ended in severe disappointment.

The second game of the night saw Portland Timbers host Sporting Kansas City in an intriguing Western Conference clash between two teams that normally play out very tight and low-scoring affairs.

The home side managed to eventually pull out a dramatic 7-6 penalty shootout win after a back and forth contest through normal time and extra-time.

Rodney Wallace opened the scoring for Portland in the 57th minute before Kevin Ellis equalised three minutes from time to send the game into extra-time.

Sporting Kansas City then took the lead through Krisztian Nemeth as he fired in a suberg goal from a tight angle. It looked like SKC would be going through until substitute Maximiliano Urruti pulled Portland back into it in the 118th minute.

Penalties then followed and Portland ended up winning 7-6 after all 22 players had to make the long walk to the penalty spot, ending in both goalkeepers squaring off in what was the greatest shootout in MLS history.

Timbers goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey scored against SKC stopper Jon Kempin – who replaced the injured Tim Melia at the end of normal time, before then saving Kempin’s effort to send Portland through to end a wild night in Oregon.

Portland will face Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps in the next round, while Montreal will face off against Columbus Crew.

What did you make of Thursday night’s games? Did Portland deserve to go through?


2 thoughts on “Home advantage shines through in playoffs again as Montreal & Portland advance

  1. SKC is a poor passing team, they started playing with 15 minutes left in the game. Nemeth would be super awesome with players like him, imagine him taking Altidore’s place in Toronto with Giovinco and Bradley at his side.

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