The Portland Timbers ended Real Salt Lake’s cinderella run in a 2-0 shutout at Providence Park on Saturday night.
After this weekend’s showdown, the Timbers advanced to the MLS Cup for the third time in club history and second time in the past four seasons.
I have to admit. I was expecting RSL to have some type of heroic win after going zero shots in Seattle and dominating in Kansas City proving that having home field advantage may not be as beneficial. But the Timbers held on with a strong performance from two unexpected players.
Felipe Mora took advantage of New York’s defensive mistake to score early in the fifth minute. The play started off as someone played the ball off. Then the Chilean striker tucked the right footed shot in the bottom left corner.
Steve Clark had an excellent performance, recording three saves, and another clean sheet. The most notable came in the 33rd minute as the veteran keeper made a point blank stop to deny Damir Kreilach and held the ball after it ricocheted off him.
Santiago Moreno, who had been controlling the pitch all night, opened his MLS scoring account in the 61st minute. The young Brazilian got the layoff from Dario Zuparic
Danger struck for RSL as Aaron Herrera received a second yellow card resulting in an automatic red, and was sent off the pitch.
Playing with ten men, RSL struggled to try to salvage the game. But their storybook run ended in the Pacific Northwest.
The Timbers will now host New York City FC in the MLS Cup for the first time on Saturday, December 11.