PORTLAND, Ore. — The Portland Timbers advanced to the Western Conference final with a 3-2 second-leg win over Seattle Sounders FC on Thursday at JELD-WEN Field, marking Portland’s first appearance in the last four.
The Timbers were able to stem the tide of a late Sounders rally and hold on for the 5-3 aggregate win, sending Caleb Porter’s men to Real Salt Lake on Sunday for the first leg of the Western Conference final.
Despite bringing a one-goal lead into Thursday’s match Portland didn’t sit back and Rodney Wallace squandered a great chance for the hosts in the opening two minutes.
The Timbers seized the lead in the 29th when Jack Jewsbury attempted to chip the ball past Seattle defender Djimi Traore inside the penalty area, only for Traore to handle the ball.
Will Johnson stepped to the penalty spot and sent goalkeeper Michael Gspurning the wrong way, giving the Timbers a 3-1 aggregate lead that would only grow larger.
Valeri scored in the 44th after taking a pass from Wallace and finishing off the play in traffic with some nice footwork, making it 2-0 to Portland on the night at halftime.
Things only got worse in the 47th as a quick free kick allowed Wallace to cross the ball from the left wing to the near post, where Danso turned home a header from six yards.
Seattle showed a bit of life in the 74th when Yedlin scored from close range after a flicked header, and things got a little more interesting when Eddie Johnson headed home Yedlin’s right-wing cross two minutes later.
Clint Dempsey could have made things interesting in the 88th minute for Seattle, but he shot just wide of the post from 10 yards and Portland saw out the rest of the match to advance.