MLS Cup Playoffs: Kendall Waston Handball Costs Vancouver Whitecaps
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It's often said that the closest of margins decide playoff games. And boy was the old adage true tonight. A late, controversial penalty decision against Kendall Waston allowed Michel to score the decisive goal in a 2-1 win for FC Dallas. That sets up a Western Conference Semifinal with the Seattle Sounders. 

The loss is an extremely disappointing one for Vancouver; and they will feel hard done by. Of the two wild card match-ups, tonights looked by far the more even and so it proved. 

For the neutral, the result is just a little disappointing as many were hoping for a Cascadia Cup clash in the Conference Semis, but tonight's match was well won by Dallas. They will host Seattle Sounders on Sunday in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Match Facts

FC Dallas advances to the Conference Semifinals for the first time since 2010, when they reached the final. 

FC Dallas manager and club legend Oscar Pareja's dream of taking FC Dallas on to win MLS Cup lives on. In his career in Dallas, Pareja never progressed beyond the Conference Final.

Vancouver Whitecaps have failed to make it to the Conference Semifinals again. This was their second trip to the Wildcard Round in their MLS history.

With Vancouver's elimination, Seattle Sounders have beaten every team remaining in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

This is the first time a Canadian player has scored against a Canadian team.

Key Moments

27' SAVE! Vancouver's Pedro Morales uncorks a scorcher from distance that's kept out by Chris Seitz.

36' SAVE! Morales sends in another testing effort as he disguises a costless kick well before curling one at the near post. Seitz never looked too worried by that one.

40' GOAL! Some tireless work sees Mauro Diaz pick the ball up from some slack defending and he's in on goal! He's got Akindele on his right, and it's a 2-on-1! Diaz lays the ball off for Akindele to go back across the face of goal and he scores! Terrible defending there. Wouldn't have happened with a healthy Steven Beitashour.

47' OFF THE BAR! Mauro Rosales takes on a costless kick from 25 yards out and he gets it up and over the wall and it comes crashing back off the bar! Oh so close to the equalizer!

60' SAVE! Even closer to the equalizer! A Vancouver corner isn't dealt with properly and that one was cleared off the line three times before it was booted out of play! Kekuta Manneh came closest to scoring.

64' GOAL! Dallas' inability to properly clear set pieces is exposed again! They fail to deal with a costless kick, and Erik Hurtado is on hand to pick up the pieces. He has a chance to shoot from 15 yards out, and it comes off a defender and goes in. Game on in Frisco!

82' PENALTY TO DALLAS! A long throw comes in, takes and awkward bounce and comes off of Waston's arm! Referee Mark Geiger had no hesitation and pointed to the spot straightaway, but that looked a really harsh decision.

84' GOAL! Michel sends Ousted the wrong way, putting it into the keeper's left with aplomb.

RED CARD! After the final whistle, Vancouver players confront the referees en masse, and Sebastian Fernandez has some choice words to say that earns him a red card after the end of the match.

Next playoff match

Thursday, October 30th New York Red Bulls - Sporting Kansas City 8 PM ET

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