KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Diego Valeri scored a brace, Sebastián Blanco added a goal and the Portland Timbers won the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Championship with a 3-2 aggregate win over Sporting Kansas City Thursday night at Children's Mercy Park. The win vaulted the Timbers to their second MLS Cup appearance in four years as they'll take on Eastern Conference Champions Atlanta United FC on Dec. 8.
16' - SAVE (POR) - On a Sporting corner kick set piece, the ball was served in and flicked on to frame by KC's Diego Rubio but Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella dove to collect.
20' - GOAL (SKC) - Sporting took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute when Rubio slipped a ball across the face of goal that deflected to Dániel Salloi who knocked it in to score.
40' - CHANCE (POR) - On a nice pass from Sebastián Blanco, Andy Polo darted into the box, took a touch and fired a shot that was deflected out for a corner.
52' - GOAL (POR) - Blanco, with space outside the box uncorked a 30-yard golazo to tie the score at 1-1 in the 52nd minute and put Portland in the lead on away goals.
61' - GOAL (POR) - Portland went out to a 2-1 lead after Jeremy Ebobisse poked a shot that forced a stop from SKC goalkeeper Tim Melia but the ball bounced up to Diego Valeri who headed it into the back of the net.
67' - SAVE (POR) - Sporting, on the attack, peppered a shot on goal that Attinella blocked and then smothered for Portland. It was one of Attinella's six saves on the night – a playoff career high for him.
73' - SAVE (POR) - KC's Felipe Gutiérrez sped down the left channel on a ball over the top. He took a low shot that Attinella raced off his line to block up and over the net.
81' - GOAL (SKC) - Sporting's Gerso Fernandes tied the game at 2-2 when he jumped on a loose ball in front of the Portland net and scored.
90+9' - GOAL (POR) - The Timbers iced the match as Blanco and Diego Chara combined to break out on the counter. Chara then sent a perfectly weighted ball forward to a sprinting Valeri who went in 1v1 on Melia and slotted it home for a 3-2 lead.
The Portland Timbers will travel to face Atlanta United FC on Saturday, Dec. 8 in the 2018 MLS Cup. Kickoff is 5pm PT on FOX.
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs | Western Conference Championship – Leg 2
Portland Timbers (5) vs. Sporting Kansas City (1)
Nov. 29, 2018 – Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 3 3
Sporting Kansas City 1 1 2
SKC: Sallói (Rubio), 20
POR: Blanco (Villafaña), 52
POR: Valeri, 61
SKC: Fernandes, 81
POR: Valeri (Chara), 90+9
POR: Valentin (caution), 17
POR: Guzmán (caution), 45+4
SKC: Rubio (caution), 47
POR: Chara (caution), 77
POR: Villafaña (caution), 90+5
POR: Asprilla (caution), 90+6
POR: GK Attinella, D Valentin (Powell, 80), D Tuiloma, D Ridgewell, D Villafaña, M Chara, M Guzmán (Olum, 84), M Polo (Asprilla, 72), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse
Substitutes Not Used: GK Clark, D Cascante, M Flores, F Melano
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Valeri, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Valeri, 2); FOULS: 13 (Chara, Valentin, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 6
SKC: GK Melia, D Zusi, D Opara, D Besler ©, D Sinovic, M Espinoza, M Sánchez, M Gutiérrez, F Russell (Croizet, 90), F Rubio (Németh, 70), F Sallói (Fernandes, 65)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Zendejas, D Fontás, F Busio, F Shelton
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Gutiérrez, Rubio, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Fernandes, Gutiérrez, 2); FOULS: 8 (Gutiérrez, 2); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 13; SAVES: 0
Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletcher, Matthew Nelson
4th Official: Baldomero Toledo
VAR: Dave Gantar
AVAR: Logan Brown
Weather: Clear, 35 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial