Three points...Just three points separated Sporting Kansas City from a secured spot in the 2015 Audi MLS Playoffs.
The match which had been rescheduled from its original May 16 date didn't fall in favor for Sporting KC as they were defeated at home for only the second time in the 2015 campaign by a final score of 2-0 at the hands of Western Conference foe the Colorado Rapids.
Now their postseason fate and attempt for their sixth consecutive playoff berth will be played out on national television (ESPN) for Decision Day '15 when they host reigning MLS Cup champions, the LA Galaxy, this coming Sunday at Sporting Park.
Sporting Kansas City, who come into the match tied for the last playoff spot in the Western Conference with 48 points needed a simple win (three points) at home to lock away at least a top six placement in the West and the playoffs.
Colorado, who was mathematically eliminated from the playoff picture over a week ago came into Wednesday match playing for nothing more than pride and experience.
Sporting's offense unloaded for 18 shots, tying a season-high mark, yet only three total shots were on target.
Colorado's starting goalkeeper Zac MacMath, who's on loan from the Philadelphia Union, made all three saves for the Rapids to earn the road shutout.
Colorado, who came into Wednesday match conceding the fewest road goals this season across the MLS, found paydirt for themselves on Dillon Powers 78th minute goal, assisted by newly-subbed Juan Ramirez.
Sporting KC had their chance to capitalize on a well-supporting home crowd via Graham Zusi, when he sent his shot off the top of the crossbar in the 71st minute.
Zusi's free kick in the 85th minute connected with Chance Myers, whose header was cleared off the line by Rapids defender Sean St. Ledger.
The Rapids caught the home squad with too many numbers up-field on a corner kick and took advantage of the counter attack by seeing midfielder Marcelo Sarvas burying his second goal of the season in the 86th minute.
The goal by Sarvas ended Sporting KC chance of clinching playof position and makes their Sunday affair with the Galaxy, that much more important.
Possible Playoff Scenarios
Can Sporting KC clinch a playoff berth with a win on Sunday?
Yes...regardless of other results.
Can Sporting KC clinch a playoff berth with a draw on Sunday?
Yes…under three scenarios:
If San Jose loses at FC Dallas, OR
If San Jose draws at FC Dallas, OR
If Seattle loses vs. Real Salt Lake
Can Sporting KC clinch a playoff berth with a loss on Sunday?
Yes…if San Jose loses at FC Dallas.
Can Sporting KC still get the No. 2 seed and a Knockout Round bye?
Yes...if all of the following happen on Sunday:
Sporting KC wins and overcomes LA goal difference for tiebreaker (i.e. win by 5 or more goals), AND
Seattle loss/draw vs. Real Salt Lake, AND
Portland loss/draw vs. Colorado Rapids, AND
Vancouver loss vs. Houston Dynamo