The Whitecaps come home to BC Place on Sunday for the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal round with the Portland Timbers. Their 0-0 draw in Portland on November 1 has made the math formula for the Whitecaps very simple: in order to advance, the Whitecaps must win the match.
Whether it happens in the ninety, extra time or on penalties, the Whitecaps need to be ahead when the final whistle blows. Every other scenario allows the Timbers to advance.
Let’s start with the most basic scenario; another 0-0 draw. This is the only way the match can go into extra time, and possibly penalties. The only way the match can go to penalties is if it remains scoreless after 120 minutes.
If Portland scores an away goal during the match, extra time is no longer a possibility, and the Timbers would advance to the Western Final if the ninety ends in a draw. This is because they would have the away goal advantage. In short, any draw where goals are scored favours Portland. This applies to goals scored in extra time as well.
So, when you head to BC Place on Sunday, be ready to cheer the Whitecaps on to victory. Because, anything less than victory won’t be enough to move on in the MLS Cup playoffs.