MATCH RECAP | Mabiala late goal lifts Portland Timbers to 1-0 playoff victory over Colorado Rapids

HIGHLIGHTS | Portland Timbers shut out Colorado Rapids 1-0 behind Mabiala goal | Nov. 25, 2021

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – In a wild finish, Portland defender Larrys Mabiala scored in the 90th minute, the Timbers survived a late red card to go down to 10 men and the visitors defeated the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinals at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Thanksgiving Day to advance to the Western Conference Final.

Goalkeeper Steve Clark made three saves as Portland earned their first clean sheet in the 2021 playoffs.

Match Moments

14' - SAVE (POR) - On a Colorado corner kick from midfielderJack Price, Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark caught the headed attempt from Rapids forward Dominque Badji.

28' - SAVE (POR) - Clark made another sharp save on a near post attempt from Rapids defender Cole Bassett who had slipped through the Portland backline.

36' - CHANCE (POR) - After Dairon Asprilla recovered the ball and transitioned ahead, he squared a pass to Sebastián Blanco who tried a swerving shot from some 35-yards out that went narrowly over the Rapids crossbar.

38' - SAVE (POR) - Clark had another spectacular denial of a Colorado shot after Rapids defender Kellyn Acosta curled in a ball that Badji headed onto goal from near the penalty spot.

50' - CHANCE (POR) - A ball sent upfield found Blanco on the run in the left channel. He got past the backline and attempted a left-footed shot but it was saved. Following the run, Blanco was subbed out due to injury.

53' - CHANCE (POR) - Portland worked the ball down the right sideline. Midfielder Santiago Moreno – who had just come into the match – passed the ball to Asprilla near the top of the box. His right-footed shot was saved by Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough.

65' - CHANCES (POR) - Following a Portland corner kick, the Timbers had a flurry of chances with Yimmi Chara's shot falling to forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda. Niezgoda, back to goal, quickly played it out to the right to Josecarlos Van Rankin. The Portland defender fired his shot on goal but it was saved off the line by Colorado's Danny Wilson

84' - CHANCE (POR) - Portland went out on the break with Yimmi Chara playing up to his brother Diego. Diego then sent a through ball to Felipe Mora in the box with Mora's chipped ball to the back post just inches beyond the reach of of Yimmi's outstretched foot.

90' - GOAL (POR) - Portland's Larrys Mabiala scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute as he jumped to poke in a loose ball following a bicycle-kick attempt from Mora to put Portland up 1-0.

90+4' - RED CARD (POR) - Portland went down to 10 men late when Asprilla was given a red card by referee Ted Unkel for a foul committed on the far sideline.


Portland will next play in the Western Conference Finals and will face the winner of the other Western Conference Semifinal match between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. Date and time to be announced.

Portland Timbers (No. 4 Seed) vs. Colorado Rapids (No. 1 Seed) – Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs Semifinal
Nov. 25, 2021 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)

Scoring Summary:
POR: Mabiala, 90 

Misconduct Summary:
POR: Zuparic (caution), 45 
POR: Asprilla (ejection), 90+4
POR: Mora (caution), 90+8

POR: GK Clark, D Van Rankin, D Mabiala, D Zuparic, D Bravo, M D. Chara ©, M Paredes (Fochive, 90+6), M Y. Chara (Loría, 90+5), M Blanco (Moreno, 52), F Asprilla, F Niezgoda (Mora, 66)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D McGraw, D Bonilla, D Tuiloma, M Valeri

TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Y. Chara, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (four players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3

COL: GK Yarbrough, D Wilson, D Trusty, D Abubakar, M Rosenberry, M Kaye (Galvin, 83), M Price, M Acosta, M Bassett (Lewis, 75), M Rubio (Namli, 67), F Badji (Barrios, 75)

Substitutes Not Used: GK Irwin, D Moor, D Beitashour, M Warner, F Shinyashiki

TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Badji, 2); FOULS: 8 (Kaye, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2

Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Alan Kelly
Attendance: 17,438
Weather: Sunny, 56 degrees

All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial


  • The Timbers hold a 10-6-6 record in MLS playoff matches, and 6-4-2 when playing on the road.
  • Portland has advanced to the Western Conference Final in four out of its seven postseason appearances (2013, 2015, 2018, 2021). 
  • Qualifying for playoffs in each of his four seasons with Portland, head coach Giovanni Savarese holds a playoff record of 5-3-2.  
  • Savarese has taken the Timbers to the Western Conference Final in two of his four playoff runs (2018, 2021).
  • Portland registered its second shutout win in the club’s MLS-era postseason history.
  • The Timbers are 11-9-6 in MLS play, including playoffs, against the Rapids.
  • Thursday’s game marked the first playoff match between Portland and Colorado in the club’s MLS era.
  • The win marked Portland’s first against the Rapids since Sept. 8, 2018. 
  • Mabiala scored for a second consecutive game, tallying his second goal of the year and his first career game winner. 
  • Mabiala has two career playoff goals with both coming in 2021.
  • With 11 career goals for the Timbers (regular season, MLS is Back Tournament, and playoffs), Mabiala has the most goals of any defender in Portland’s MLS era.
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