PORTLAND, Ore. – Holding the visitors to only one shot on target, the Portland Timbers shutout Sporting Kansas City with a 0-0 draw in the first leg of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship at Providence Park Sunday evening.
Portland thought they had a game-winner in the 70th minute as David Guzmán headed in a ball off a set piece delivery only to have the play called back for an offside ruling.
The two teams will meet for leg two in Kansas City on Thursday, Nov. 29. Kickoff is 6:30pm PT on ESPN.
1' - CHANCE (POR) - Less than a minute into the game, Portland's Dairon Asprilla made it down to the KC endline with some deft footwork. He cut a pass back towards the top of the six for Jeremy Ebobisse but Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia sprawled to collect the ball.
6' - CHANCE (POR) - Jorge Villafaña, upfield in the Portland attack, rushed on to a rebound in front of the KC net and hit a right-footed shot that pinged off the inside of the right post and out.
45+1' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri served in a free kick towards the back post that Asprilla jumped high to head towards goal but Melia made the save.
45+2' - CHANCE (POR) - Moments later, Valeri sent another free kick in from near midfield. Portland defender Liam Ridgewell, up for the set piece, headed it on frame and forced a diving punch out from Melia.
55' - CHANCE (POR) - On a Timbers counter upfield, Villafaña crossed a ball in that bounced out to David Guzmán at the top of the 18-yard box. His skipping shot was saved by Melia.
56 - SAVE (POR) - KC's Seth Sinovic hit a shot on the half-volley that dipped towards frame but Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella calmly caught the ball and collected.
58' - BLOCK (POR) - As Sporting made a counter of their own, a pass came across to forward Dániel Sallói who took a touch and shot only to find defender Ridgewell slide in to block the shot away.
82' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri sent in a nice out-swinging corner kick that found Bill Tuiloma at the penalty spot. He thumped a header that Melia dove to his right to catch.
90+1 - BLOCK (POR) - Ridgewell came up big again with a huge block on a point-blank shot in second half stoppage time.
Portland will travel east to face Sporting Kansas City at Children's Mercy Park in the second leg of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship on Thursday, Nov. 29. Kickoff is 6:30pm PT on ESPN.
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs | Western Conference Championship – Leg 1
Sporting Kansas City (1) vs. Portland Timbers (5)
Nov. 25, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland. Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 0 0 0
POR: Guzmán (caution), 36
SKC: Sinovic (caution), 45+1
SKC: Besler (caution), 66
SKC: Sallói (caution), 89
POR: GK Attinella, D Valentin, D Mabiala (Tuiloma, 19), D Ridgewell, D Villafaña, M Chara, M Guzmán, M Asprilla, M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Melano, 81)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Clark, D Powell, M Olum, M Flores, M Conechny
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Ridgewell, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Ridgwell, 2); FOULS: 16 (Asprilla, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 1
SKC: GK Melia, D Zusi, D Opara, D Besler ©, D Sinovic, M Sánchez, M Espinoza, M Gutiérrez, F Russell (Croizet, 90+2), F Sallói, F Shelton
Substitutes Not Used: GK Zendejas, D Fontás, D Evans, M Németh, F Busio, F Fernandes,
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Three players tied, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Sinovic, 1); FOULS: 15 (Sinovic, 4); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 1; SAVES: 6
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: CJ Morgante, Corey Rockwell
4th Official: Ted Unkel
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic
AVAR: Jeremy Hanson
Weather: Mostly cloudy, 48 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial