Portland eliminates Sporting KC 3-2
By: Carlos Chicas
Photos: Graham Green, USA Today, & Michael Cruz
Video: Hugo Ortega
The new Champion of the Western Conference is Portland. The Timbers defeated Sporting KC by 3-2. With the victory the Timbers get their ticket to the MLS Cup Championship.
While it was Sporting who jumped into the field and imposed the pace of the game, at least in the first 45 minutes of what seemed like a party for the home team. Sporting KC went up on the scoreboard after an overflow by Johnny Russell on the right wing, the forward saw the projection of Daniel Salloi and crossed the ball to Salloi who sent the ball to the back of the net for 1 -0. It was the 20th minute of the first half.
Terrible refereeing by Mark Geiger who did not give advantage to Sporting and the score that could have buried the visiting team was canceled. The first 45 minutes ended with Sporting KC leading 1-0.
In the second half, Portland came out with an impossible mission. At minute 52 Sebastián Blanco will tie the match. At minute 61 the third goal of the night would come, this time it would be Diego Valeri for the 2-1. The night was falling on Peter Vermes and his cast.
The Sporting coach started making changes and would sent Gerso Fernandes the pitch, Fernandes at minute 81 would tie the game 2-2. The referee would extend life to those who came to the Blue Hell by adding 9 minutes to stoppage time. Sporting would not advance with a 2-2 drawing.
Peter Vermes move up his lines and that cost him. Portland took advantage and in counterattack it would erase Kansas City’s hopes of another final. Captain Diego Valeri on the minute 99 would put the final 3-2.
“It was a very difficult game in a very complicated court, in the first time we did not merit, in the second half we woke up, we made more risks, we made two early goals, they got more people to attack, with everything against show character.” Sebastian Blanco
“They wanted to score another goal to reassure the game, they did not have much merit to be up, we were defending well, we just had to take advantage of an opportunity and we did it.” David Guzmán
“We were very focused on our role to win the cup and we have it and we want to continue making history and now we are going to Atlanta.” Diego Valeri
Portland is in the MLS final that will be play on December 8 at 7:30 pm against Atlanta. The match will take place at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.