New York City FC won a dramatic penalty shootout against the top-seeded New England Revolution to qualify for the Eastern Conference final. City, the East’s No. 4 seed, will play the No.2 Philadelphia Union on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers remain the bookies’ favorites to win the MLS Cup.

New York City FC victory
New York City FC’s players and staff celebrate together after beating the New England Revolution to reach the Eastern Conference final. (Image: nycfc.com)

MLS Golden Boot winner Valentin Castellanos was sent off just four minutes after putting NYCFC ahead in extra time against the Revolution on Tuesday and will miss the final, a detail which will delight Union and its fans.

It was all drama at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Santiago Rodriguez opened the scoring for City after just three minutes before Adam Buksa equalized inside the first 10 minutes of the clash thanks to an assist from Carles Gil. No additional goals were scored before the final whistle, so the match went to extra time. Castellanos punched first for New York, but Tajon Buchanan kept New England’s hopes of a final alive with his 118th-minute goal.

In the penalty shootout that followed, Buksa was the only one to miss for the hosts, with New York City converting all five of its shots from the spot to reach their first-ever conference final.

Will Timbers triumph?

Despite their series of surprise wins in the playoffs, New York City FC and Real Salt Lake remain outsiders in the race to win the MLS Cup. At +150, the Portland Timbers remain the bookies’ favorite to celebrate on Dec. 11 when the final is set to be played. Philadelphia Union is second, at +225, while New York City is behind at +250. Real Salt Lake sits at the bottom at +650, a status preserved since the playoffs kicked off.

To reach the MLS Cup final, the Timbers need to beat Salt Lake in the Western Conference final. They are at -111 to win in normal time on Saturday evening, with Salt Lake at +275. In the other conference final, Philadelphia is at +125 to win, with New York City at +180.

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