Cincinnati book conference final in stoppage time; Crew down Orlando | OneFootball

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Adam Booker·26 November 2023

Cincinnati book conference final in stoppage time; Crew down Orlando

Article image:Cincinnati book conference final in stoppage time; Crew down Orlando

The MLS Cup Playoff Conference Semifinals got underway Saturday night with the two Eastern Conference showdowns.

Here is what went down in the two games.

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Stoppage time heroics send Cincinnati past Philadelphia

Scorers: Mosquera 90+4

A dramatic stoppage time winner sent Yerson Mosquera into the Eastern Conference final.

Cincinnati set the tempo in the opening 30 minutes, creating a flurry of chances. But Brandon Vazquez and Aaron Boupendza were wasteful in front of goal.

The Union carved out a few chances of their own, but much like the earlier game, goals were not plentiful.

When extra-time grew close, it was clear the two teams were not keen on taking any risks to open themselves up to a shocking late defeat.

But the twist came in stoppage time when Yerson Mosquera pounced on a ball in the box to fire home and snatch the win at the death to send Cincinnati to the conference final against Columbus.

Columbus down Orlando City in extra-time

Scorers: Ramirez 93′, Hernandez 118′

Columbus Crew snatched a win away to Orlando City, booking their spot in the Eastern Conference final.

Columbus have proven to be one of the top attacking teams in MLS, and their prowess with the ball was on full display in the opening exchanges in Orlando.

However, their early domination of the ball failed to result in goals when the opportunities arose, leaving Orlando ready to pick the visitors off and snatch the win.

The hosts appeared to create that chance when Iván Angulo was played in behind, but a last-ditch tackle from a Columbus defender kept the scoreline even.

The tie was turned on its head in the final 15 minutes when Rodrigo Schlegel was sent off for his second yellow card, leaving the Lions to fend off the rest of the match with ten men.

Orlando nearly snatched the win with the last kick of the game when Martín Ojeda was played in, but the forward sent his shot narrowly wide. The match headed to extra-time!

It did not take the Crew long to take advantage of their numerical superiority in extra-time, as Christian Ramirez came off the bench to bundle home from point-blank range.

The game was killed off by Cucho Hernández in the dying minutes, as the striker fired home from midfield into an empty goal.