DAIRON ASPRILLA SPARED the blushes some of his Portland Timbers team-mates after they celebrated prematurely during their Western Conference semi-final draw with the Seattle Sounders.
The Colombian, who scored in extra time during Thursday night’s game, slotted away the winning penalty at CenturyLink Field but a number of his team-mates didn’t expect the game would go that far.
With the game entering the final minute of added time in extra time level at 4-4, Seattle spurned a late corner which allowed Portland to run down the clock and referee Jair Marrufo to blow his whistle.
The score was 3-2 to Seattle after extra time, so, naturally, some of the Portland players assumed since they had scored more away goals over the course of the two legs they would progress.
However, MLS rules state that while the away goals tiebreaker applies at the end of 90 minutes in the second leg, it does not apply to any goals scored in extra time.
Because the game ended 2-1 after the regulation 90 minutes, the two additional goals scored – one by Portland’s Asprilla and the other by Seattle’s Nicolás Lodeiro - in extra time were not subjected to the away goals rule.
So, when Portland’s Sebastián Blanco threw his hands up in delight after the final whistle, it was down to team-mate Zarek Valentin to explain that the game was in fact going to a penalties.
Amazing. Some (one?) of the Timbers players played part of extra time thinking they were ahead on a tiebreaker and didn't need to score. They were wrong. pic.twitter.com/6fKT7lZ8Gt— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) November 9, 2018
Thankfully for Portland, Asprilla held his nerve during the final kick of the shoot-out to guide them to a Western Conference final date with either Sporting Kansas City or Real Salt Lake who meet this weekend in Kansas.
Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud