ATLANTA, Ga. – The Portland Timbers, playing in their second league final in the past four seasons, showed fight and guile but lost 2-0 to Atlanta United FC in front of a record crowd of 73,019 Saturday night in the 2018 MLS Cup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
28' - SAVE (POR) - Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella came up big in the first half when palmed away an acrobatic, half-bicycle kick from Miguel Almirón.
39' - GOAL (ATL) - Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the first half when Michael Parkhurst slide-tackled a ball away from Jeremy Ebobisse and it went forward to Joséf Martínez at the edge of the area. Attinella came off his line but Martínez rounded him and knocked the ball into the bottom of the goal.
43' - CHANCE (POR) - Sebastián Blanco, sprung on a ball from Zarek Valentin through the right channel into the 18-yard box, chipped a ball back towards the front of goal. Ebobisse headed it strongly on frame, forcing a diving save from Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan.
54' - GOAL (ATL) - Atlanta United made it 2-0 in the second half on a set piece in the 54th minute. Almirón curled in a free kick towards goal that Martínez flicked on to the back post where Franco Escobar rushed on to score.
62' - CHANCE (POR) - Blanco, darting through the backline, rifled a low shot that Guzan saved and covered.
71' - SAVE (POR) - An Atlanta ball served into the box was headed down on frame by Martínez but Attinella made the save.
83' - CHANCE (POR) - Pushing forward, Blanco scooped a ball over the Atlanta defense for a speeding Alvas Powell. Powell one-timed his shot but it went wide of the right post.
88' - CHANCE (POR) - Dairon Asprilla, in space on the right side, fired a low skipping shot that Guzan dove to his right to save.
The Portland Timbers will host a Welcome-Home Celebration at Portland International Airport on Sunday, Dec. 9. More information to follow.
Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs | MLS Cup
Portland Timbers vs. Atlanta United FC
Dec. 8, 2018 – Mercedes-Benz Stadium (Atlanta, Ga.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 0 0
Atlanta United FC 1 1 2
ATL: Martínez, 39
ATL: Escobar (Martínez, Almirón), 54
POR: Chara (caution), 80
ATL: McCann (caution), 90+43
POR: GK Attinella, D Valentin, D Mabiala, D Ridgewell, D Villafaña, M Chara, M Guzmán (Powell, 82), M Polo (Asprilla, 68), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Melano, 59)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Clark, D Tuiloma, M Olum, M Flores
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Ridgewell, Valeri, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 13 (Melano, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 2
ATL: GK Guzan, D Escobar, D Larentowicz, D Parkhurst ©, D González, D Garza (McCann, 90+1), M Nagbe, M Remedi, M Gressel, F Martínez (Villalba, 76), F Almirón (Barco, 90)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kann, D Robinson, M Kratz, F Vázquez
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Martínez, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Martínez, 2); FOULS: 12 (Almirón, Escobar, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 3
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Eric Weisbrod
4th Official: Nima Saghafi
RAR: Kathryn Nesbitt
VAR: Chris Penso
AVAR: Thomas Supple
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial