Sporting Kansas City has booked another playoff date with the Houston Dynamo, and they sealed their place in the Eastern Conference final in the exact same fashion as their future opponents. Seth Sinovic fired KC into extra time with his second half goal and Claudio Bieler was the hero, scoring to give Kansas City the 3-1 win on the night and 4-3 aggregate victory.
C.J. Sapong forced Matt Reis into a save five minutes in, nodding a cross by Benny Feilhaber to set the tone for what was to come, both in the high volume of shots that would be created from lofted balls into the box and the high percentage of those shots from both teams that would be hit right at the goalkeeper.
Darrius Barnes was lucky not to get sent off in the 18th minute when he shoved Chance Myers in the face in plain view of referee Mark Geiger and well after the whistle had blown, but Geiger was lenient towards Barnes and showed both players a yellow card.
Sporting, who came into Wednesday's match down one goal on aggregate, leveled up the tie in the 40th minute off a free kick. Aurelien Collin scored in a similar manner to the way he got his goal in the first leg, poking in a shot from close range off a deflection. On this occasion, the ball hit Revs defender Andrew Farrell, and Collin might have been called for offside if the ball didn't hit him.
Needing a change of pace in midfield, Jay Heaps made a change at halftime, bringing on rookie defensive midfielder Scott Caldwell for Andy Dorman. What the Revs lost in experience and tenacity by making this change, they more than made up for in gained athletic ability.
The Revs eventually found themselves in front again in the 70th minute, thanks to Dimitry Imbongo. He was the beneficiary of a perfect free kick delivery by Kelyn Rowe and made the most of it, smashing a half-volley into the back of the net to silence the crowd at Sporting Park.
It didn't take long for Kansas City to take back the lead on the night and level the tie, eventually forcing extra time. Former Rev Seth Sinovic was the unlikely scorer of his team's aggregate equalizer, converting his first career MLS goal. He made a great overlapping run into the box to get onto the end of a ball by Graham Zusi, then hit a powerful shot that Reis had no reasonable chance to stop.
Peter Vermes dipped into his bench late, bringing on designated player Claudio Bieler, who has severely fallen out of the coach's good graces in the last month. Vermes' decision to put him in paid off in the 113th minute with the winner, assisted in brilliant fashion by Benny Feilhaber, who made an interception off an ill-advised quick throw by Reis. With the Revolution defense out of position, Bieler got on the end of Feilhaber's cross and found space to finish off the winning goal.
Things ended without too much drama due to an unfortunate late injury to Reis, who had to limp off the field with what looked like a nasty non-contact lower leg injury. Farrell had to play in goal to finish the game due to the Revs having used up all of their substitutes, and with just 10 men, they couldn't push forward to find an equalizer and force penalties.