PORTLAND, Ore. -- A match like no other, ended in the most unique way possible Thursday night in Portland.
After a scoreless first half that was mainly dominated by the Portland Timbers, the two teams entered the halftime break still drawn at 0-0.
The home club would find the score sheet first when Timbers forward Rodney Wallace used his quick reflexes to put a rebound shot home giving Portland up 1-0 in the 57th minute. Portland looked to be in great shape, especially since they had posted a 14-0-2 record in 2015 when scoring the first goal of the match.
Trailing 1-0 in the 85th minute, Sporting Kansas City looked down and out as goalkeeper and possible team MVP Tim Melia was knocked out of the match with an injury sustained in the 71st minute on a dangerous tackle from Wallace. A tackle, which could have easily warned a red card to Adi, resulting in just a yellow card for the forward. Melia attempted to stay in the match, but was finally taken off in the 84th minute.
Moments later, Sporting KC's captain Matt Besler received an elbow to the head, which resulted in him having to step out of the match to deal with the vast amount of blood on his face and jersey.
While Besler was out of commission from play, Sporting KC earned a corner and Graham Zusi found Kevin Ellis to score an equalizer in the 87th minute.
After a long seven minutes of extra time, the two teams found themselves heading to an extra 30 minutes of play. This match, the first in the 2015 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs to reach overtime.
Sporting KC's surprise of the year, Krisztian Nemeth scored another MLS Goal of the Year candidate with his go-ahead goal inside the box during the 97th minute to put the visitors up 2-1.
Peter Vermes, Sporting Kansas City's manager decided to go conservative when he subbed off Nemeth in the 108th minute for veteran Jacob Peterson. The conservative move wouldn't help as Timbers forward Maximiliano Urruti would beat a diving Jon Kempin, who subbed in for Melia in the 82nd minute.
Kempin, the 21-year old homegrown player for Sporting KC, was making only his 4th appearance of the season.
After 120 minutes, the score would remain tied at 2-2 and the match would head to penalties.
Sporting KC, who had won their past 3 shootout matches, including this year's U.S. Open Cup over the Philadelphia Union, looked in good favor heading to the PK's.
Kempin stopped Timbers star Diego Valeri on the first shot and Benny Feilhaber followed by burying his attempt.
The shootout would go back and forth for nine rounds until finally it looked as if Sporting KC would once again walk away with a road shootout win.
Saad Abdul-Salaam, the 12th overall pick from the 2015 MLS SuperDraft stepped to the spot with a chance to advance Sporting Kansas City onward to the MLS Western Conference Semifinals.
Abdul-Salaam initially beat diving Timbers keeper Adam Kwarasey but struck the inside of the left post, only to have his shot roll along the goal line thus striking the inside of the right post before rolling off the line. The indescribable miss by the rookie Abdul-Salaam gave Portland new-life at home and this time they wouldn't let it slip away from them once again.
After makes by both George Fochive and Amadou Dia in the 10th round for their clubs respectfully, it came time for the two keepers: Kwarasey and Kempin to have their own scoring chance.
Kwarasey stepped to the spot and overpowered a shot past Kempin with ease, putting all the pressure on Kempin to come up clutch once again for his team, in a night not many thought he'd even see the pitch.
Kempin blasted a shot in the left side of the net, only to have Kwarasey guess correctly and save the day for the Timbers.
Sporting Kansas City ends it season with a 14-12-9 record, while Portland improves to 16-11-8 and moves onto a Sunday, November 1st match-up with the #2 seeded Vancouver Whitecaps at BC Place.