Seattle Sounders FC vs. Portland Timbers – Football Match Report – November 8, 2018


Dairon Asprilla had a goal and an assist and scored on the deciding shot of a penalty-kick shootout as the Portland Timbers defeated the host Seattle Sounders on Thursday night to advance to Major League Soccer’s Western Conference final.

The Timbers won the shootout 4-2 in five rounds after the home-and-home, total-goals series finished tied 4-4.

Portland’s Lucas Melano, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco also scored in the shootout, while Liam Ridgewell’s attempt was saved by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

The Sounders’ Raul Ruidiaz and Handwalla Bwana netted goals in the shootout, but Will Bruin’s attempt hit the left post and Osvaldo Alonso’s try was stopped by Timbers goalie Jeff Attinella.

Both teams scored in the first seven minutes of extra time.

Asprilla scored in the 93rd minute on a header from the top of the 6-yard box off a perfect cross from Valeri on the right wing to the far post.

However, the Sounders got even on Nicolas Lodeiro’s penalty kick in the 97th minute, after Blanco was called for a handball in the 18-yard box.

The Sounders forced the extra session on Ruidiaz’s 15-yard volley in the third of six minutes of second-half stoppage time. It was Ruidiaz’s second goal of the night and third in the series, tying the aggregate score at 3-3.

The match was scoreless until the 68th minute, when Attinella bobbled a Seattle cross and the ball fell to Ruidiaz, who knocked an 8-yard shot inside the right post.

Blanco tied the score in the 78th minute. Asprilla controlled a failed clearance of a cross by the Seattle defense at the top of the 18-yard box and passed the ball back to Blanco, whose 20-yard shot found the lower left corner of the net.

While Portland got defender Larrys Mabiala back after he missed the first leg because of a red card he received in the elimination round against FC Dallas, the Sounders played short-handed.

They were without Chad Marshall, a three-time MLS Defender of the Year who finished second in the balloting this season, and midfielder Cristian Roldan, who became the first player in the history of the 10-year-old franchise to start all 34 regular-season matches and who had missed just seven minutes the entire campaign.

Both players were injured in the opening 30 minutes of the opening leg, a 2-1 Portland victory on Sunday. Marshall tore the meniscus in his right knee, on which he had surgery Tuesday, and Roldan sustained a hip flexor injury.

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