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Sporting KC advances

(Nov. 11, 2018) -- Sporting Kansas City defeated Real Salt Lake in a 4-2 thriller on Sunday at Children's Mercy Park to claim a 5-3 aggregate victory in the Western Conference Semifinals of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Diego Rubio opened the scoring, Ilie Sanchez converted a penalty kick and Daniel Salloi bagged a brace as Sporting KC overcame second-half strikes from RSL's Sebastian Saucedo and Damir Kreilach to win an instant classic between fierce rivals.

Sunday's momentous triumph propels top-seeded Sporting KC into the two-legged Western Conference Championship, where they will face the No. 5 seed Portland Timbers. Manager Peter Vermes' side will visit Portland in the first leg on Sunday, Nov. 25, before hosting the decisive return leg on Thursday, Nov. 29, at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff times and broadcast details for both matches will be announced in the near term.

PLAYOFF TICKETS: Tickets for the second leg of the Western Conference Championship between Sporting KC and the Portland Timbers, set for Nov. 29 at Children's Mercy Park, are now on sale to the general public at SeatGeek.com. Season Ticket Members who opted in for their playoff tickets will be messaged directly and can contact their Client Services Executive for questions and more information.

In a breathless battle that unfolded before a national audience on ESPN, Sporting KC tied a club postseason record with four goals and sealed progression to the conference finals for the first time since 2013. The team also improved its all-time home playoff record to 15-2-4, with Salloi becoming the fourth player in team history to score twice in a postseason match.

One week removed from a 1-1 first-leg draw in Utah, Vermes made two changes to his starting lineup as Sporting KC hosted their first home playoff game since defeating RSL on penalties in the 2013 MLS Cup. Left back Seth Sinovic returned from suspension to replace Yohan Croizet, while Rubio stepped in for Khiry Shelton to lead a three-pronged attack alongside Salloi and Johnny Russell.

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