By TIM BOOTH
AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) – Dairon Asprilla scored the deciding penalty as the Portland Timbers survived a wild second half and extra time to defeat the Seattle Sounders 4-2 in a shootout Thursday night and advance to the MLS Western Conference finals.
Photo gallery: Sounders fall in semis to Timbers
Seattle won the wild second leg of the conference semifinal matchup between the Cascadia rivals 3-2, scoring late in regulation to force extra time before both teams scored early in the extra session. Eventually, the sides decided the winner via penalties, although Portland initially believed it had won at the end of extra time because of scoring a second road goal in the match.
The celebration was premature as road goals are not a tiebreaker in extra time. But it became real minutes later when Asprilla beat Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei and sent Portland to the West finals for the first time since winning the MLS Cup in 2015.
Portland will face Sporting Kansas City or Real Salt Lake in the West finals.
Asprilla, Lucas Melano, Diego Valeri and Sebastian Blanco scored in the shootout for Portland. Seattle’s goals came from Raul Ruidiaz and Handwalla Bwana, but Will Bruin hit the post and Osvaldo Alonso’s shot was saved by Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, atoning for an earlier mistake that led to Seattle’s first goal.
It came down to the spot.#SEAvPOR // @Audi #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/g8zZeNgG7W
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) November 9, 2018
Portland held a 2-1 lead after the first leg at home and the match reached penalties only because of a wild final 25 minutes of regulation and a beginning to extra time that was equally crazy.
Seattle took a 1-0 lead in the match and pulled even at 2-2 on aggregate – with the road goal tiebreaker …read more
Source:: sports.MyNorthwest.com – Sports