Timbers through to MLS Cup Final
In their 5th season in Major League Soccer, the Portland Timbers will be playing in the MLS Cup Final for the first time after a 2-2 draw with FC Dallas in Frisco, Texas on Sunday. With the draw, the Timbers advance 5-3 on aggregate after a 3-1 win in Portland last weekend. The Timbers will travel to Columbus to face the Crew on December 6 at 1pm Pacific.
The last time the Portland Timbers were in a league final in any of their four incarnations was in 1975, when the Timbers went to Soccer Bowl ’75 in their first season in the North American Soccer League, where they lost 2-0 to the Tampa Bay Rowdies in San Jose, California.
The Timbers would get the critical away goal in the 54th minute when Fanendo Adi outmuscled Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman to get on the end of a pass from Diego Valeri, and Jesse Gonzalez could not stop the hard shot, and the Timbers knew Dallas would now need three goals just to force overtime, instead of only needing two goals to win the series outright.
FC Dallas did respond with two goals late to put the Timbers on their back foot, with Ryan Hollingshead hitting a one-timer into the lower right corner in the 69th minute to bring Dallas within two goals on aggregate, then three minutes minutes later, Blas Perez got on the end of a Mauro Diaz free kick and headed into the Timbers net to give Dallas a 2-1 lead in the match, and pull them within 5-4 on aggregate.
The Timbers nearly took advantage of Dallas pushing for the equalizer twice on Maximiliano Urruti breakaways, but the Timbers would finally put the series away in stoppage time when Lucas Melano dribbled around Gonzalez and tapped the ball into an open net from a tight angle to level the match at 2-2, but put the Timbers up 5-3 on aggregate, and that would be the final score as the Timbers are now unbeaten in their last eight matches as they travel to Columbus to play in the MLS Cup Final next Sunday.