The knockout rounds of the 2015 MLS Cup Finals have been pretty wild so far. We’ve already seen DC United rally late from a goal down to send the Revs on vacation early, Montreal trouncing Toronto, and the explosive encounter between Seattle and LA. But what happened last night in Portland might just take the cake.
Portland took a second half lead before surrendering an equalizer just three minutes from time. Kansas City took the lead early in extra time but Portland found a late leveller and forced a penalty shootout.
The shootout was something else.
Eleven rounds of high drama. Incredible saves from both keepers. Jack Jewsbury booting his shot into low orbit. Matt Besler attempting a panenka and failing spectacularly. Saad Abdul-Salaam hitting both goalposts in an almost physics-defying miss. Ultimately, the tie was settled by goalkeeper penalties (and let’s be real, if you don’t love goalkeeper penalties, you have no soul). Adam Kwarasey buried his shot, but Jon Kempin— a substitute who made some incredible saves early in the shootout— couldn’t find the net. After 120 minutes of soccer and eleven rounds of penalties, Portland emerged from the smoke victorious.
The shootout, and the game itself, was delirious and dramatic and very, very long. Last night showed what MLS is all about— the good and the bad.