PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers finished the 2017 regular season atop the Western Conference and Cascadia Cup-winners with a thrilling, come-from-behind 2-1 triumph over Vancouver Whitecaps FC Sunday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd of 21,144 at Providence Park in MLS Decision Day action.
Powered by goals from Liam Ridgewell and Darren Mattocks, the victory earned the Timbers the No. 1 seed in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs with a bye into the Western Conference Semifinals. Portland will play the lowest seeded team that advances from the midweek Knockout Round matches. The Timbers will face San Jose if the Earthquakes defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the Knockout Round, or the winner of the Houston Dynamo-Sporting Kansas City match if Vancouver defeats San Jose. Dates and times for the first leg to be announced but tickets are on sale now for the Nov. 5 second leg at Providence Park.
The win also gave the Timbers a table-leading 11 points in the inter-club, supporter-run Cascadia Cup competition between them, Vancouver and Seattle Sounders FC. It marks the fourth Cascadia Cup for Portland in their history and second since 2012.
29' - GOAL (VAN) - Vancouver's Kendall Waston scored on a header following a free kick delivery from Yordy Reyna to put the Whitecaps up 1-0.
32' - GOAL (POR) - Liam Ridgewell tied the game for Portland at 1-1 three minutes later when he, up for a Timbers corner, pounced on a rebound following a shot from Darlington Nagbe. 'Caps goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic had parried away the drive from Nagbe only for the ball to fall to Ridgewell who stretched to poke it into the back of the net.
41' - CHANCE (POR) - Sprung on the break via a great clearance from Ridgewell, Sebastián Blanco rocketed towards midfield. He played the ball forward to Nagbe, who shed his defender then cut the ball back to Blanco but his shot was just over the bar.
45+1' - CHANCE (POR) - The Timbers, on the attack, came close t in first half stoppage time when Blanco and Mattocks battled Marinovic for a loose ball in the box. Blanco managed to get a shot off but it was saved off the line by a Vancouver defender.
48' - GOAL (POR) - Mattocks gave the Timbers a 2-1 lead when he scored the game-winner off a pass from Vytas. The Portland defender had carried on on goal after receiving a threaded pass from Blanco following some sustained Timbers attacking pressure.
54' - CHANCE (POR) - Mattocks almost had another when he came down the left channel, beat Waston, and hit a sharp-angled shot only for Marinovic to make a point-blank save.
62' - SAVE (POR) - Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella alertly grabbed a deflected shot from Vancouver and managed to prevent it from going out for a corner.
70' - CHANCE (POR) - Given space on the edge of the Vancouver 18-yard box, Blanco fired a low skipping shot from the right that narrowly missed the left post.
85' - BLOCK (POR) - On a dangerous Vancouver free kick into the mixer, Ridgewell managed to knock a headed shot up and away. The Caps recovered the loose ball but their final shot went over the bar.
90+2' - SAVE (POR) - In second half stoppage time, Attinella dove to his right to save a low shot from distance by Vancouver's Fredy Montero.
The Timbers now advance to the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs with a bye to the Western Conference semifinals.
Portland Timbers (15-11-8, 53pts) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC (15-12-7, 52pts)
Oct. 22, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 0 1
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
VAN: Waston, (Reyna), 29
POR: Ridgewell, 32
POR: Mattocks (Vytas, Blanco), 48
VAN: Nosa (Caution), 30
VAN: Harvey (Caution), 33
POR: Chara (Caution), 45
POR: Ridgewell (Caution), 57
POR: Guzmán (Caution), 79
VAN: Waston (Caution), 89
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Attinella, D Powell, D Mabiala, D Ridgewell ©, D Vytas, M Guzmán, M Chara, M Blanco (Asprilla, 83), M Valeri (Olum, 90+5), M Nagbe, F Mattocks (Ebobisse, 86)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gleeson, D Miller, D Valentin, M Barmby
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Blanco, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Mattocks, Guzmán, 2); FOULS: 14 (Guzmán, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1
VAN: GK Marinovich, D Nerwinski, D Waston, D Parker, D Harvey, M Ghazal, M Nosa (Hurtado, 73), M Ibini-Isel (Montero, 56), M Reyna, M Bolanos (Techera, 67), F Shea
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ousted, D de Jong, M Jacobson, M Mezquida
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Waston, Ghazal, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Waston, Montero, 1); FOULS: 16 (Waston, 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher, Andrew Bigelow
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Kevin Stott
Weather: Cloudy, 60 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial