Timbers vs. Caps, flashback, 10.30.15
(The Oregonian)

Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps FC share long history in postseason battles

While Sunday marks the first time ever the Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps are set to meet in the MLS Cup Playoffs (2pm PT ESPN), the playoff history between the Cascadia rivals remains deeply rooted, dating back to the NASL era and the first-ever postseason matchup on Aug. 12, 1978.

Facing off in the first of a two-game aggregate goal series at Civic Stadium (now Providence Park) in Portland, the Timbers earned a 1-0 shutout against the Whitecaps in front of 16,437 fans as forward Clyde Best delivered the game-winning header in the 55th minute to give Portland the advantage. Best’s goal came off a corner kick from midfielder Willie Anderson just two minutes after the Timbers were reduced to 10 men for the final 38 minutes of the match.

"It became just like a fight," Timbers midfielder Stewart Scullion told The Oregonian that night. "After the two goals we just dug in and fought. The first half we played well, the second half we won it with character."

As the second game moved to Empire Stadium in Vancouver, the Timbers would go on to defeat the Whitecaps 2-1 on Aug. 16, 1978, as Best and Anderson each scored first-half goals while goalkeeper Mick Poole registered seven saves to complete the two-game sweep of Vancouver, sending Portland to the two-game National Conference Final against the New York Cosmos.

Since 1978, the two sides have faced off a total of 10 times in postseason play across the NASL and USL eras in five two-game, aggregate goal series (1978, 2002, ’07, ’09, ’10). The Timbers also defeated the Whitecaps on aggregate in the 2007 USL playoffs, while Vancouver got the best of the Timbers in 2002, ’09 and ‘10.

The Timbers’ playoff history has continued to grow as Portland has reached the Western Conference semifinals in two of the past three seasons. Now set to square off for the 11th time in postseason play across all eras, the Timbers look to build on their rich history against Vancouver beginning Sunday at Providence Park.

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