Receiving a goal in each half, the Portland Timbers secured their spot in the final of the MLS is Back Tournament with a 2-1 win against the Philadelphia Union in the semifinal round at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Wednesday night. Jeremy Ebobisse scored his team-leading fourth goal of the tournament early in the first half, while Sebastián Blanco registered his third goal of the competition in the second half to help Portland secure its spot in the tournament final on Aug. 11.
Tournament Finals and Elimination Games
With their win, the Timbers advanced to their fourth tournament final as a club, which includes MLS Cup in 2018 and 2015 and the 1975 NASL Soccer Bowl. With head coach Giovanni Savarese at the helm, Portland has advanced to a tournament final in two of its last three seasons. Notably, during Savarese’s managerial career with the New York Cosmos and Portland he has coached in 35 elimination matches, posting a record of 22-11-2.
Blanco scored for a second consecutive match, tallying the game-winner against Philadelphia. With the goal, Blanco has been directly involved in eight of the Timbers’ 12 goals at the tournament, recording three goals and five assists. Blanco has scored or assisted in all six MLS is Back Tournament matches. His six consecutive matches with a goal or assist is the longest streak of his Portland career. Additionally, he is the only player with three or more goals and three or more assists in the competition.
Diego Valeri recorded a pair of assists in the match becoming the second player to record multiple assists for Portland during the tournament. It marks the 16th time in all competitions Valeri has registered a multi-assist game during his Timbers career. Additionally, Valeri has five career assists against the Union, which is the most by Valeri against an Eastern Conference opponent. Notably, Dario Zuparic registered his first career assist with Portland. He is the eighth player to tally an assist for the Timbers in the tournament.
POR – Jeremy Ebobisse (Diego Valeri), 13th minute: Off a corner kick, Valeri played the ball to the center of the box and Ebobisse deposited the ball into the back of the net with a header from the top of the six-yard box.
POR – Sebastián Blanco (Dario Zuparic, Diego Valeri), 70th minute: Zuparic directed a header off a corner kick by Valeri to Blanco, who converted with a header from a tight angle near the left post.
PHI – Andrew Wooten, 85th minute: Steve Clark made the initial save on a free kick, parrying away the attempt from the left wing by Jamiro Monteiro, but Andrew Wooten pounced and finished from close range.
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