In a frentic first half of the second leg of the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference semifinals that saw the Portland Timbers come flying out of the gates against the Seattle Sounders, it seemed as though it was only a matter of time before Portland were going to get the first goal. Applying relentless pressure all over the pitch from the first whistle, it was in the 27th minute or so that saw Jack Jewsbury make a run into the box. Seattle tried to tackle him and the ball popped up into Seattle defender Djimi Traore. The linesman spotted a handball, conferred with the referee who then pointed to the spot.
In the 29th minute, team captain Will Johnson calmly stepped to the spot and buried it past Seattle 'keeper Michael Gspurning.
And another angle, courtesy of @MLS:
Now armed with a 3-1 aggregate lead, the Timbers kept their pressure up and were rewarded again in the 44th minute. Despite suffering a number of hard fouls, Diego Valeri sliced into the Sounders 18-yard box, juggled the ball to himself and tapped the ball back post as he fell to the ground. It was an acrobatic goal of skill and cunning that produced a 2-0 Portland lead and 4-1 on aggregate.
With the second half, the Timbers kept their foot on the gas. On a quickly taken free kick near the far sideline, the ball was rolled out to Rodney Wallace who crossed it on the run. Timbers center back Futty Danso flew down the middle of the Seattle 18 sneaking past a stunned Sounders backline to head it into the back of the net and give the Timbers a commanding 3-0 lead and 5-1 on aggregate.
But Seattle gamely fought back. Following a long throw-in in the Timbers end, the ball skipped through the Portland defense where Sounders defender DeAndre Yedlin pounced on the loose ball to pull a goal back in the 74th minute.
Two minutes later, Seattle crossed a ball into the Portland box that Eddie Johnson headed into the back of the net. The Timbers lead was cut to 3-2 but they advanced 5-3 on aggregate to take on Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Final.