Wed, 30 Sep 2020

Timbers hold off Union, advance to MLS is Back final

Field Level Media
06 Aug 2020, 12:40 GMT+10

Jeremy Ebobisse scored his fourth goal of the MLS is Back Tournament in the 13th minute, Sebastian Blanco added his third in the 70th, and the Portland Timbers held on for a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union in a semifinal on Wednesday night near Orlando.

Diego Valeri added a pair of assists for the Timbers, who have now defeated the Union in five consecutive matches in all competitions and will play in their third major final since joining MLS in 2011. Portland won the 2015 MLS Cup and then lost the 2018 MLS Cup to Atlanta United.

In the final on Tuesday, Portland will play the winner of Thursday's second semifinal between Orlando City and Minnesota United.

Substitute Andrew Wooten scored his first goal for Philadelphia in any competition in the 85th minute. Kacper Przybylko appeared to have completed a miracle comeback a minute later, but his goal was ruled offside, a decision that stood following a video review.

Philadelphia's Sergio Santos skied a penalty kick over the bar just before halftime. Union goalie Andre Blake made five saves in the loss.

Portland opened the game on the front foot and nearly went ahead in the 11th minute. However, after a Philadelphia giveaway in its own end, Blake made a sensational diving save to his left to deny Valeri's low effort from about 20 yards.

The Timbers went in front on the ensuing corner kick. Valeri's outswinging ball sailed just over Larrys Mabiala's head. Ebobisse was there, though, sneaking in front of Kai Wagner and heading the ball past Blake from in close.

Blanco scored what would turn out to be the game-winner on another corner kick. This time it was Dario Zuparic who won the initial header, flicking it to the back post, where Blanco snuck a second header between Blake and the near post.

Wooten got Philadelphia back in the match when he was first to the rebound of Jamiro Monteiro's free kick, saved at the near post by Steve Clark (seven saves).

Przybylko thought he had completed the comeback when he took Brenden Aaronson's through ball and smashed a low finish past Clark, but the linesman raised his flag.

--Field Level Media

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