New York City FC looked like they were going to be leaving Portland as MLS Cup winners in regulation time. Having scored the game’s lone goal up to the final seconds of the contest, getting it via Valentin Castellanos, the league’s most potent scorer in the regular season, they were surely going to be the victors.
But they were forced to work hard for the win, as the Timbers didn’t go down without a fight in front of their home supporters. In the 94th minute, they made a dramatic comeback to force extra time, with Felipe Mora scoring off a mad scramble with literal seconds to go. Once in extra time, neither team scored, sending the game to penalties. In penalties, NYCFC once again took a lead, and this time they held out, sealing the deal 4-2 in the shootout when Alex Callens thumped home the clincher. It was NYCFC’s first MLS Cup triumph, and it denied the hosts a chance to celebrate a championship with their own fans.