Philadelphia Union 1, Portland Timbers 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

The Portland Timbers are into the MLS is Back Tournament Final by Wells Fargo, using two corner kicks to knock off the Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Portland will face either Minnesota United or Orlando City next Tuesday in the championship match (8:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN, TVA Sports 2 in Canada), with the second semifinal played Thursday evening (8 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN, TVAS2 in Canada).

The Timbers drew first blood in the 13th minute when Jeremy Ebobisse breezed onto service from Diego Valeri to nod past Andre Blake. The striker went unchallenged, with Union left back Kai Wagner caught ball-watching. 

Sebastian Blanco then made it 2-0 in the 70th minute after Valeri’s service was flicked on by Dario Zuparic. The Argentine playmaker comfortably headed home at the back post, depositing the eventual game-winner.

But Philadelphia sparked to life in the last five minutes plus stoppage time, starting with Andrew Wooten’s clean-up goal in the 85th minute. Wooten made it 2-1 after Jamiro Monteiro’s curling free kick was pawed off the line by Steve Clark.

The Union thought they had an equalizer in the 86th minute when Brenden Aaronson slipped Kacper Przybylko through. The German striker finished past Clark from close range, but he was deemed offside by the smallest of margins.

The late flurry aside, Philadelphia could’ve made it 1-1 going into halftime were it not for Sergio Santos’ botched penalty-kick attempt. He skied over from 12 yards out in first-half stoppage time, miscalculating after Monteiro was fouled by Blanco in the box. 

Goals

  • 13' – POR – Jeremy Ebobisse | WATCH
  • 70' – POR – Sebastian Blanco | WATCH
  • 85' – PHI – Andrew Wooten | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Diego Chara managed a classic performance from his deep-lying midfield spot. The Portland veteran admirably kept Brenden Aaronson and the Union offense under wraps, and then made several lung-busting runs forward. Mr. Reliable did what he does best.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE. The Timbers, 2015 MLS Cup winners, are one match away from lifting their second piece of major silverware. That long-sought trophy for Philadelphia must wait at least a little longer, as Giovanni Savarese’s group keeps on solving all challengers.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Was he on or off? That debate will linger for Union and Timbers fans alike, as Kacper Przybylko thought he made it 2-2 as the minutes ticked away.
  • YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Sebastian Blanco got another goal, giving him three tallies and five assists in Orlando alone. He’s strengthening his Player of the Tournament presented by Adidas case.

Next Up

  • PHI: End of Tournament
  • POR: Tuesday, Aug. 11 vs. Minnesota United or Orlando City, MLS is Back Tournament Final (8:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US; TSN, TVA Sports 2 in Canada)
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