The MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final is set as it'll be quite the clash with a Hell Is Real derby between FC Cincinnati and the Columbus Crew. A late goal by Yerson Mosquera saw the Supporters' Shield winners triumph over the Philadelphia Union 1-0 while the Columbus Crew defeated Orlando City SC 2-0 in extra time on Saturday in a match that featured a bonkers midfield goal.
Here's what to know:
Columbus deliver late
It's a score that makes the game seem more lopsided than it was in regulation as Christian Ramirez scored the opening goal in the 92nd minute before Cucho Hernandez's shot from midfield sealed the deal near the end of extra time. In the 77th minute, Orlando were reduced to 10 men when Rodrigo Schlegel picked up his second yellow card for a foul but Pedro Gallese did all he could to keep the Lions in the game making five saves.
Orlando's defense held firm until Ramirez entered in the 92nd minute of play before scoring immediately after his entry. Following the match he announced that he had a few things to celebrate.
"Get me home to my wife so I can have my kid ... My wife's in labor," Ramirez said.
So not only does he have a trip to the Eastern Conference Final where he'll face either FC Cincinnati or the Philadelphia Union to celebrate, but also he's set for that new addition to the family. But while Ramirez is the star of the night, Hernandez scored a goal to remember.
Central to the Crew's play all season netting 17 goals, Hernandez saw that Gallese was out of his net and unleashed an accurate strike from near midfield and made it seem much easier to score than it was.
The controversy in Cincinnati
Without suspended center back Matt Miazga, the on -oan Mosquera was thrown into an unfamiliar role as a sweeper but his game-winning goal came with a bit of controversy. After a VAR review, the goal was confirmed but Ian Murphy's flick-on seemed to be offside in real time. With the goal coming in stoppage time, it is a moment where the Union felt hard done after fighting for more than 90 minutes even though they lost midfielder Jose Martinez to injury during the match.
With FC Cincinatti's coach Pat Noonan being Philadelphia Union coach Jim Curtin's former assistant, there is familiarity between the teams but it goes deeper than that as Alvas Powell played for their next opponent and Ray Gaddis is the all-time appearance leader for the Union. In a game where the teams couldn't be separated, that familiarity made a difference but in the moment where it counted, Cincinnati stepped up which is why they rose to the one seed and remains the favorites to reach the MLS Cup final.
The Eastern Conference Final will take place on Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. ET at TQL Stadium and it'll be quite the clash. Miazga's availability for the match is up in the air but Cincinnati will need all the help that they can get to surpass Hernandez and the Crew.