SEATTLE – The Portland Timbers advanced to the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship after defeating Seattle Sounders FC 4-2 on penalties after extra time in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals at CenturyLink Field Sunday night.
Following 90 minutes of regulation that saw both teams even at 3-3 on aggregate and another 30 minutes of extra time with each team scoring a goal to make it 4-4 (with no away goal tiebreaker in play for extra time), it was Timbers winger Dairon Asprilla who played the hero with the game-deciding penalty kick in the fifth and final frame. The Colombian also scored a key goal in the first half of extra time and contributed an assist in the match. Sebastián Blanco also scored for the visitors in the 78th minute.
Individual tickets for Portland’s home playoff match of the Western Conference Championship go on sale to the general public Friday at 1 p.m., and will be available for purchase online or by phone at (888) 736-6849. A limited-window, online presale will take place Friday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. (Pacific) for Timbers and Portland Thorns FC Annual Members and members of the club’s Annual Members Waiting List. Group tickets can be purchased by calling (503) 553-5555.
60' - CHANCE (POR) - After weathering pressure, the Timbers broke forward in the 60th minute. Diego Valeri pinged a ball to Ebobisse in the box. He settled it, turned and fired but Seattle's Stefan Frei made the save.
64' - SAVE (POR) - On a Seattle corner into the box, the ball fell in a scramble and Sounders defender Kim Kee-hee headed it towards teammate Kelvin Leerdam. Portland goalkeeper, Jeff Attinella alertly sprung to punch the ball away from danger.
68' - GOAL (SEA) - A Seattle cross came into the box that Attinella came off his line for and initially got a hand to. However, the ball came loose and Sounders forward Raúl Ruidíaz collected it and scored to give Seattle a 1-0 lead in the game and take the lead on the away goal tiebreaker on aggregate.
78' - GOAL (POR) - The Timbers tied it up at 1-1 and took the lead 3-2 on aggregate in the 78th minute. Jorge Villafaña curled in a ball that found Dairon Asprilla. Asprilla settled it before laying it off to an open Sebastián Blanco who rifled it into the lower left corner.
90+2' - CHANCE (POR) - With Seattle pushing forward, Portland managed to get out on a counter with Valeri leading the way. He sent a ball through to the speeding Lucas Melano who's shot forced a fingertip save from Frei.
90+3' - GOAL (SEA) - Ruidiaz scored his second goal of the match when he hit a hard shot past a diving Attinella to give Seattle a 2-1 lead in the game but tie the series at 3-3 on aggregate.
90+5' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri served in a free kick that Larrys Mabiala headed on frame but a leaping Frei made the save.
93' - GOAL (POR) - In overtime, Asprilla gave Portland a 4-3 lead on aggregate when he leapt high on the back post to hit a thumping header past Frei. Valeri set up the goal with a gorgeous 20-yard cross from the far side..
97' - GOAL (SEA) - Nicolás Lodeiro tied the game at 4-4 on aggregate with a penalty kick in the 97th minute of the first overtime. The penalty was awarded after a hand ball was whistled on Blanco in the box.
116' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri curled in a corner kick that Lawrence Olum headed on frame. Frei, however, made the save.
POR - Melano - GOAL (right side)
SEA - Ruidiaz - GOAL (left side)
POR - Valeri - GOAL (left side)
SEA - Bruin - MISS (left post)
POR - Blanco - GOAL (left side)
SEA - Alonso - SAVE (by Attinella)
POR - Ridgewell - SAVE (by Frei)
SEA - Bwana - GOAL (right side)
POR - Asprilla - GOAL (middle)
Portland will square off against either No. 1 seed Sporting Kansas City or No. 6 Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the Western Conference Championship in the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, Nov. 25, with the lower-seeded team playing host to the first leg. Sporting and Salt Lake, tied on aggregate after a 1-1 result in the first leg, play leg two on Sunday, Nov. 11 at 12pm PT on ESPN.
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs | Western Conference Semifinals – Leg 2
Portland Timbers (4) vs. (2) Seattle Sounders FC
Nov. 8, 2018 – CenturyLink Field (Seattle, Wash.)
Goals by Half 1 2 ET1 ET2 F (PKs)
Portland Timbers 0 1 1 0 2 (4)
Seattle Sounders FC 0 2 1 0 3 (2)
SEA: Ruidiaz, 68
POR: Blanco (Asprilla), 78
SEA: Ruidiaz, 90+3
POR: Asprila (Valeri), 93
SEA: Lodeiro (penalty kick), 97
1 POR: Melano – Goal
1 SEA: Ruidiaz – Goal
2 POR: Valeri – Goal
2 SEA: Bruin – Missed
3 POR: Blanco – Goal
3 SEA: Alonso – Saved
4 POR: Ridgewell – Saved
4 SEA: Bwana – Goal
5 POR: Asprilla – Goal
POR: Flores (caution), 41
SEA: Alonso (caution), 70
POR: Valeri (caution), 96
SEA: Ruidiaz (caution), 114
POR: GK Attinella, D Powell (Valentin, 103), D Mabiala, D Ridgewell, D Villafaña, M Flores (Olum 83), M Chara, M Polo (Asprilla, 72), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Melano, 89)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Clark, D Tuiloma, D Cascante
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Blanco, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Six players tied, 1); FOULS: 16 (Chara, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
SEA: GK Frei, D Leerdam (Bwana, 85), D Torres, D Kee-hee, D Tolo, M Alonso ©, M Svensson, M Shipp (Bruin, 80), M Rodriguez (McCrary, 106), M Lodeiro, F Ruidiaz
Substitutes Not Used: GK Meredith, D Francis, M Delem, M A. Roldan
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Ruidiaz, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Ruidiaz, 2); FOULS: 17 (Three players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 14; SAVES: 4
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Chris Penso
Weather: Clear, 53 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial