MLS review: Portland left it late against Coloradro, while Real Salt Lake pulled off another upset

Portland won in dramatic fashion to advance to the Western Conference final. They'll now face Real Salt Lake, who managed to upset the odds once again to beat Sporting KC.

The MLS Cup playoffs continued this weekend with three of the four conference semi-finals. The other takes place on Tuesday when New England Revolution host NYCFC to decide who will face Philadelphia Union for a spot in the MLS Cup final.

Meanwhile, the Western Conference final is already decided. Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake both booked their place in next Saturday's final, which is set to take place in Oregon.

Portland leave it late against Colorado

Dairon Asprilla, Portland Timbers, MLS Cup

Larrys Mabiala scored a last-gasp winner to help his Timbers side beat top-seeded Colorado Rapids 1-0 on Thursday. The game ended in controversy with a skirmish in the 94th minute that left Portland with 10-men and Dairon Aasprilla suspended for the Western Conference Final.

The other bad news for the Timbers is that star midfielder Sebastian Blanco left the game in tears in the 50th minute with a hamstring injury. He returned earlier this year from an ACL injury and is now unlikely to be fit for the rest of the playoffs.

Colorado had the better of the possession at 55 percent, but Portland threatened through counter attacks, and ended up taking more shots (12) than the Rapids (10).

Timbers keeper Steve Clark made a big save in the 35th minute to keep the game tied, while Colorado managed to clear the ball off their line just after the hour mark.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 90th minute, though, as Mabiala stretched to poke the ball home following a Timbers corner. After not scoring at all in the regular season, the 34-year-old has now scored two in two for Portland.

Real Salt Lake pull off another upset

Real Salt Lake celebrate winning their MLS Cup playoff semi-final

A week after stunning the second-seeded Seattle Sounders in a penalty kick shootout, Real Salt Lake went on the road to third-ranked Sporting KC and pulled off another upset.

The hosts took an early lead on Sunday with a penalty kick in the 24th minute from Scotland's Johnny Russell.

However, they were unable to add to their lead, and the game was still 1-0 after the hour mark.

Salt Lake brought on striker Bobby Wood from the bench in the 72nd minute and seconds later the game was tied as fellow substitute Anderson Julio headed home a cross from the left-wing.

As the clock ticked on it seemed like another 30 minutes would be necessary to decide the semi-final, but RSL had other ideas.

One minute into stoppage time, Justin Meram broke down the left wing, and Wood redirected his cross into the back of the net.

The goal was Real Salt Lake's eighth after the 90-minute mark this season, and after only narrowly reaching the playoffs, they now find themselves in the Western Conference final.

Philadelphia advance after shootout

MLS, Philadelphia Union goalkeeper Andre Blake was the penalty shootout hero

It took a penalty shootout for Philadelphia Union to advance to the Eastern Conference Final, and goalkeeper Andre Blake proved to be the hero.

The Jamaican National Team star saved the first two penalties in the shootout before the next two missed the target completely to give the Union a 2-0 shootout win after an initial 1-1 draw.

This is the furthest the Union have ever advanced in the MLS Cup playoffs after joining the league in 2010.

Last season they won the Supporters' Shield but were upset in the first round of the playoffs by New England, the team they could face next weekend. If the Revs win on Tuesday, they will host the Union - otherwise, Philadelphia plays host to NYCFC.

Hany Mukhtar, an MVP candidate, put Nashville SC on top in the first half, but Hungarian midfielder Daniel Gazdag equalized right before the halftime whistle. The game stayed 1-1 through the rest of the second period as well as through the 30 minutes of extra time.

The Union elected to have the shootout in front of the Sons of Ben supporters' group at the river end of the stadium, and Blake saved Mukhtar's opening effort. Jack McGlynn scored for the hosts, and Blake got a hand to Anibal Godoy's effort.

Nashville's Joe Willis made a save, but Alex Muyl went wide and Jack Elliott scored for the Union. Walker Zimmerman then missed the target to kick off the Union celebrations, and they now head to their first ever conference final.

READ MORE: What is on telly this week? Your sporting TV Guide November 29 - December 5

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