Portland beats Sporting on penalties, Montreal downs Toronto to reach last 8 in MLS playoffs

Portland beats Sporting on penalties, Montreal downs Toronto to reach last 8 in MLS playoffs

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland advanced to the last eight of the MLS Cup playoffs by beating Sporting Kansas City 7-6 in a penalty shootout after a tense 2-2 draw on Thursday.

Portland advanced to face Dallas in the Western Conference semifinals, while Montreal also progressed with a 3-0 win against Toronto. The Impact will face Columbus in the Eastern Conference semis.

Portland’s Rodney Wallace scored the opening goal in the 57th minute to put the Timbers in front, but Kevin Ellis scored the equalizer for Kansas City in the 87th minute and the match went to extra time.

Krisztian Nemeth put Sporting in front when he found the top corner in the 97th minute, but Maximiliano Urruti answered for Portland in the 118th, and the match went to penalties.

The shootout came down to spot-kicks taken by the goalkeepers for both sides. Portland’s Adam Kwarasey buried his before stopping Kansas City backup keeper Jon Kempin’s shot to seal victory.

Montreal’s win against Toronto was much less dramatic, with Patrice Bernier, Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba all scoring in the first half.

Bernier opened the scoring in the 18th minute on a counterattack. Piatti made it 2-0 in the 34th, and former Chelsea great Drogba scored 5 minutes later off a pass from Bernier.

The Associated Press

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