ORLANDO, Fla. – After ending even at 1-1, the Portland Timbers defeated FC Cincinnati on penalties 4-2 Tuesday night in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage presented by Audi.
Timbers forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored in his second straight game as well as converting the match-winning penalty.
Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark, whose foul in the box led to Cincinnati's equalizer, played the hero in the extra stanza with a key penalty save on FCC's Jürgen Locadia.
With the victory, Portland advanced to the semifinals of the tournament where they will play New York City FC on Aug. 1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (7:30pm PT, FS1).
4' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Sebastián Blanco dribbled down the left edge of the Cincinnati 18-yard box before lofting a cross to the center that forward Jeremy Ebobisse got a head to but narrowly sent it over the crossbar.
10' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Diego Valeri set up a free kick from deep against the Cincinnati endline. He curled in a speeding shot from the tight angle that forced a save from goalkeeper Przemyslaw Tyton.
20' - CHANCE (POR) - Blanco darted around the left side, was left with open space, and skipped in a low shot that went just wide of the left post.
22' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri slipped a pass through two defenders on the right that Yimmi Chara used his speed to catch on to, went direct to goal and shot, forcing a point-blank save from Tyton.
26' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri teed up a dipping shot from distance that Tyton pushed away.
47' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri, again with a free kick deep in the Cincinnati end, curled it in on frame only to have Tyton knock it away.
66' - CHANCE (POR) - Following a defensive stop by Portland and pushing forward with Dario Zuparic, the ball ended up out wide to Blanco who fired a shot to the near left post that Tyton went down low to save.
67'' - GOAL (POR) - Portland finally managed to slice open the conservative Cincinnati defense following a corner kick. Chris Duvall collected the second ball out wide right and the Timbers patiently worked it around to the left where they sprung Blanco in the channel. Blanco fed a ball across to Jaroslaw Niezgoda at the six-yard box who chipped it up with his right foot and then volleyed it with his left into the goal for a 1-0 lead.
81' - PK GOAL (CIN) - Cincinnati equalized following a penalty being whistled for a foul by Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark in the box. Cincinnati's Jürgen Locadia stepped to the spot and scored to the lower left of the goal.
85' - CHANCE (POR) - Valeri passed to Niezgoda who touched it back to the midfielder and he unleashed a shot that skimmed across the top of the crossbar.
PENALTIES - After being tied at 1-1 after 90 minutes of play, MLS is Back Tournament rules stipulated that the match go straight to penalties.
Valeri and Felipe Mora went two for two in their attempts to match Cincinnati's Siem De Jong and Allan Cruz.
Then, Steve Clark made up for his earlier mistake in the match by making a clutch save to his left-hand side on the attempt by FCC's Locadia.
Redemption. pic.twitter.com/KxeoQaE3Zl— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) July 29, 2020
Blanco followed up with a laser to put Portland up 3-2 before FCC's Kendall Waston skied his shot over the bar.
Niezgoda, who already had Portland's lone goal in the match, stepped to the spot and calmly converted to give Portland the win and advance them into the semifinals.
Portland next plays New York City FC in the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament on Aug. 1 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (7:30pm PT, FS1)
Portland Timbers vs. FC Cincinnati– MLS is Back Tournament – Round of 16
July 28, 2020 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F (PKs)
Portland Timbers 0 1 1 (4)
FC Cincinnati 0 1 1 (2)
POR: Niezgoda (Blanco), 67
CIN: Locadia (penalty kick), 81
1 CIN: de Jong - Goal
1 POR: Valeri - Goal
2 CIN: Cruz - Goal
2 POR: Mora - Goal
3 CIN: Locadia - Saved
3 POR: Blanco - Goal
4 CIN: Waston - Missed
4 POR: Niezgoda - Goal
POR: Blanco (caution), 18
POR: Villafaña (caution), 29
CIN: Gutman (caution), 30
POR: Gyau (caution), 46
CIN: Alashe (caution), 90
POR: GK Clark, D Duvall, D Mabiala, D Zuparic, D Villafaña, M Williamson (Polo, 88), M D. Chara, M Y. Chara (Niezgoda, 64), M Valeri ©, M Blanco, F Ebobisse (Mora, 90)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Attinella, D Bonilla, D Cascante, D Farfan, D Tuiloma, M Conechny, M Loría, M Paredes, M Polo, M Zambrano
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Valeri, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Valeri, 4); FOULS: 18 (Villafaña, Williamson, 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 4
CIN: GK Tyton, D Waston ©, D Pettersson, D Deplagne, D Gutman, M Medunjanin, M Amaya (Alashe, 59), M Stanko (Locadia 72), F Kubo (de Jong, 58), F Regattin (Cruz, 59), F Gyau (Manneh, 89)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Edwards, D Garza, D Abdul-Salaam, D Hagglund, M McCabe, F Vazquez
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Locadia, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Locadia, 2); FOULS: 7 (Seven players tied, 1); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 7
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Andrew Bigelow, Claudiu Badea
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Rosendo Mendoza
Weather: Cloudy, 78 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial