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Timbers cruise past Whitecaps to reach West finals

Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports
Photo by Anne-Marie Sorvin/USA TODAY Sports

For the second time in as many postseason appearances, the Portland Timbers are bound for the Conference Finals.

Led by a Fanendo Adi finish in the first half, the Timbers knocked off the second-seeded Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0, at BC Place. With the victory, the Timbers booked a date with FC Dallas, which toppled the Seattle Sounders in penalty kicks on Sunday at Toyota Stadium.

The Timbers’ advancement sees the club reach the Western Conference Finals for the second time in three years after suffering elimination against eventual champions Real Salt Lake in the 2013 postseason.

After holding the Whitecaps to a scoreless draw in the home leg, the Timbers found a crucial away goal in the 31st minute through Fanendo Adi.

Following a throw-in, Diego Valeri drove towards the endline before centering a pass towards Adi. The Timbers forward smashed a first-time left-footed shot, leaving David Ousted helpless to give the Timbers the 1-0 lead via an away goal.

Adi’s finish ensured that the Whitecaps would need two goals to secure advancement, although the first-half tally would stand for the entirety of the 90 minutes. As the game crept into stoppage time, Diego Chara pushed the game further out of reach, icing the game with a finish in the 95th minute to ice the game.

The Whitecaps were dealt an early blow in the 26th minute, as Kekuta Manneh was forced off the field due to injury. Manneh’s substitution came just 17 minutes after the Whitecaps forward smashed a shot off the post, and was unfortunate to see the rebound deflect off Adam Kwarasey and out for a corner kick.

From there, the Whitecaps struggled to create in what turned out to be a largely physical game. Following Manneh’s departure, the Whitecaps, who went a bit more defensive with the addition of Mauro Rosales in Manneh’s stead, lacked any sort of cutting edge. Meanwhile, the Timbers continued to dominate possession with short, simple passes as the hosts struggled to press effectively.

The closest the Whitecaps got to generating anything meaningful was a penalty kick shot in the 50th minute as Anthony Wallace toppled Steven Beitashour as the referee ruled to play on.

Substitute Robert Earnshaw also provided a half-chance late in the second half, but saw his bicycle kick attempt land just on top of the goal.

Following the victory, the Timbers will host the first leg against FC Dallas at Providence Park on Nov. 22.


  1. Good grief, where to start with the his article? SKC won in 2013, not RSL. “Icing the game with a finish in the 95th minute to ice the game.” And who the hell is Anthony Wallace? And I suspect that was a penalty shout not a penalty shot (also it wasn’t even Rodney Wallace, but Alvas Powell and it was on Rivero not Beitashour). But hey, you got the score right.


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