Playoffs: Conference Finals Neatly Poised

Playoffs wrap Montreal

Both Conference finals are on knife-edges following Tuesday night’s MLS Playoff showdowns.

Here’s what went down in Montreal and Seattle…

Montreal 3-2 Toronto

NYCFC’s semifinal conquerors looked dead and buried when Ambroise Oyongo drilled in from long range for the home side after 53 minutes at the Big O.

At that stage, Montreal were 3-0 up and looked to be cruising to the MLS Cup final but Greg Vanney’s team had other ideas.

Two goals in five minutes from Jose Altidore and Michael Bradley on 68 and 73 minutes respectively completely altered the complexion of this tie going into next Wednesday’s decisive second leg at BMO Field.

A 30 minute delay to kickoff due to some last minute alterations to the field markings seemed to take more of a toll on Toronto than Montreal in the early running.

The home side’s flying start was reflected on the scoreboard when Dominic Oduro rang the North Star Bell with a well-taken goal which was put on a silver platter for him courtesy of a stunning through ball from Patrice Bernier.

Two minutes later, the advantage was doubled courtesy of Matteo Mancosu and it looked like the tie was over eight minutes after the interval when Oyongo netted.

A tactical reshuffle from the Toronto coach took effect shortly after when Altidore continued his fine run of form with a priceless away goal from a Sebastian Giovinco assist and Bradley’s strike five minutes later sets up a mouthwatering second leg in a week’s time.

Seattle 2-1 Colorado

There was another narrow home win in the Western Conference final at Century Link Field where Seattle Sounders came from behind to triumph over Colorado Rapids.

Kevin Doyle gave Rapids the perfect start when his deflected strike from a Jermaine Jones assist handed the visitors a 1-0 lead on 13 minutes but MLS Rookie of the Year Jordan Morris equalized six minutes later to tie things up.

That was how it stayed for 40 minutes until Nicolas Lodeiro converted the spot kick given to Seattle for a foul by Mark Burch on the Uruguayan.

They meet again on Sunday in Denver.

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