Andy Dorman and Kelyn Rowe scored in the second half to lead the New England Revolution to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in the first leg of their Major League Soccer Eastern Conference semifinals series on Saturday.
Later, Ryan Johnson and Darlington Nagbe scored either side of halftime to give the Portland Timbers a 2-1 win over the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of their Western Conference semifinal.
Dorman finally opened the scoring for the Revolution in the 55th minute and Rowe made it 2-0 in the 67th. Aurelien Collin pulled a goal back for Sporting two minutes later.
The Revolution, appearing in the post-season for the first time since 2009, had not scored against Sporting Kansas City since the 2011 season.
The clubs will play the second leg of the series on Wednesday at Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kansas. The team with the most aggregate goals in the two matches will advance to the conference finals.
At Seattle, Johnson flicked in a header early in the first half, and Nagbe scored midway through the second to give the Timbers the advantage heading in the second leg of their semifinal at home.
The third-year Timbers, playing in their first MLS playoffs, need just a draw in Wednesday's second leg at Portland to advance to the conference finals.
Osvaldo Alonso scored in the 90th minute for the Sounders, who need to win the second leg by at least two goals to win the aggregate total and advance.
If the Sounders outscore the Timbers by one goal in the second match to even the aggregate total, there would be overtime to decide the series.