U-23s advance to conference finals with 2-1 win over Kitsap
The Portland Timbers U-23s have advanced to the 2012 Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 win over the Kitsap Pumas at Gladstone High School on Sunday
The Timbers broke through early when in just the second minute, Mark Sherrod headed home a long throw from Anthony Hobbs on a narrow pitch, putting it past Pumas goalkeeper Zac Lubin for the 1-0 lead.
The Pumas did not take long to respond, benefitting from a crazy bounce on a shot past Zack Sampson in the seventh minute, with the ball spinning wildly off the deflection but slipping just inside the left post to level the score at 1-1.
It was a physical match with both teams frustrated with the referees as the Timbers players felt several early fouls deserved cards that were never presented, and the Pumas players complaining of missed calls by the refereeing crew.
Pumas players complained that a handball had been missed on what turned out to be the winning goal in the 69th minute, when Sherrod chested the ball to Roberto Farfan, who blasted a volley past Lubin for what turned out to be the winning goal in the 2-1 victory.
Kitsap coach James Ritchie was eventually ejected from the match after comments were made to the fourth official and relayed to the center referee.
The Timbers now move forward to the Western Conference finals which will be held next weekend in Ventura, California.
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