ORLANDO, Fla. – Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastián Blanco both continued their strong play with goals, Diego Valeri added assists on each and the Portland Timbers defeated the Philadelphia Union 2-1 Wednesday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the semifinals of the MLS is Back Tournament Knockout Stage presented by Audi to advance to the tournament final in Orlando.
Portland will play the winner of Thursday's semifinal between Orlando City SC and Minnesota United FC in the tournament championship final on Aug. 11 (5:30pm PT, ESPN) for a chance at a $1.1 million dollar prize and a spot in the Concacaf Champions League.
11' - POR (CHANCE) - Portland was pressuring inside the Philadelphia end. Midfielder Marvin Loría won the ball back near the edge of the area, fed it to Sebastián Blanco who hit a low, hard shot that forced a finger-tip save from Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake.
13' - GOAL (POR) - Portland went to a 1-0 lead in the 13th minute on a set piece play. Diego Valeri curled an out-swinging corner kick into the mixer. Forward Jeremy Ebobisse managed to elude his defender and head an uncontested shot into the back of the net.
28' - SAVE (POR) - Union midfielder José Martínez found himself with space in the Timbers end and hit a knuckling shot at the Timbers' net that goalkeeper Steve Clark knocked down before defender Jorge Villafaña cleared away.
29' - CHANCE (POR) - Blanco came down the middle and slipped a pass to Ebobisse near the Philadelphia arc. The Portland forward took a touch and hit a rising shot that was tipped over the bar.
40' - CHANCE (POR) - Timbers defender Chris Duvall had an excellent read of an attempted Philadelphia clearance, stepped forward to win the ball and then hit a 35-yard shot on the half-volley that flew just wide of the left post.
41' - CHANCES (POR) - On another Portland corner kick, the second ball fell to defender Dario Zuparic whose cross to Ebobisse was poked away. The ball was collected, though, by Portland to Valeri who then worked it across to Blanco but his shot was mis-hit wide.
47' - PENALTY KICK MISS (PHI) - On a Philadelphia cross into the box, a foul was whistled on Blanco and referee Allen Chapman pointed to the spot. Union forward Sergio Santos stepped to the spot but skied his penalty kick attempt over the bar.
58' - CHANCE (POR) - Blanco played an outlet ball forward to Jaroslaw Niezgoda. Niezgoda nutmegged his defender and then sprinted forward with the ball into the box. With a nifty back-heel, Niezgoda got the ball to Valeri who took a shot but right at Blake.
66' - CHANCE (POR) - Niezgoda again had some clever footwork to spring Valeri forward into the box. Valeri then returned the pass back to Niezgoda but his shot was saved by Blake.
69' - CHANCE (POR) - On a Portland counter, Blanco sent a ball across the Philly 18-yard box that found Andy Polo as a late runner. Polo took a touch and hit a shot that forced a full-stretch, diving save by Blake.
70' - GOAL (POR) - On the ensuing corner, Zuparic headed the ball down to a wide open Blanco unmarked on back post. Blanco pounced and headed the ball in to the back of the net for a 2-0 Timbers lead.
79' - SAVE (POR) - The Union managed to combine play to get past the Timbers defense. Clark came up big for Portland to deny a point-blank shot from Philly forward Kacper Przybylko.
82' - CHANCE (POR) - With Philly upfield, Niezgoda perfectly timed his run and took a pass from Valeri. Heading into goal 1v1 with Blake, he cut his pass across to a speeding Polo but a Union defender broke up the play.
85' - GOAL (PHI) - The Union pulled a goal back when Jamiro Monteiro curled a free kick in on frame that Clark made a great save on but the rebound fell to Andrew Wooten who knocked it into the net and make the score 2-1.
The Portland Timbers will next play on Aug. 11 in the MLS is Back Tournament Final presented by Wells Fargo against either Orlando City SC or Minnesota United FC (5:30pm PT, ESPN).
Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union – MLS is Back Tournament – Semifinals
Aug. 5, 2020 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
Philadelphia Union 0 1 1
POR: Ebobisse (Valeri), 13
POR: Blanco (Zuparic, Valeri), 70
PHI: Wooten, 85
PHI: Wagner (caution), 38
PHI: Bedoya (caution), 62
POR: GK Clark, D Duvall, D Mabiala, D Zuparic, D Villafaña (Bonilla, 86), M D. Chara, M Williamson, M Loría (Polo, 56), M Valeri © (Tuiloma, 90+1), M Blanco (Mora, 86), F Ebobisse (Niezgoda, 56)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Attinella, D Cascante, D Farfan, M Bodily, M Conechny, M Paredes, M Zambrano
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Blanco, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Blanco, 2); FOULS: 5 (Five players tied, 1); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 7
PHI: GK Blake, D Gaddis, D Elliott, D McKenzie, D Wagner, M Bedoya ©, M Martínez (Wooten, 72), M Monteiro, M Aaronson, F Przybylko, F Santos (Ilsinho, 59)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bendik, D Glesnes, D Mbaizo, D Real, D Collin, M Turner, M De Vries, M Fontana, M Oravec, F Ngalina
TOTAL SHOTS: 17 (Przybylko, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Przybylko, 2); FOULS: 16 (Monteiro, Santos, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 5
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Ramy Touchan
VAR: Joe Dickerson
Weather: Partly cloudy, 80 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial