Portland Timbers beats Kansas City 3-2, Books MLS Cup Spot against Atlanta United

Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri last week. Photo by Sean Brown/CSM/REX/Shutterstock (9992336bc)

The Portland Timbers beat Kansas City 3-2 on Thursday to win the Western Conference and book a place in the MLS Cup on Dec. 8. The team will face Atlanta United in their second MLS Cup appearance in four seasons.

Kansas City opened the scoresheet in the 20th minute after Diego Rubio passed the ball through Zarek Valentin’s legs for a superb first-half goal. The Timbers attempted to equalize in the 40th minute but Andy Polo’s shot was blocked by Sporting’s goalkeeper.

In the second half, Sebastian Blanco netted a beautiful goal with a shot from outside the box to level the game on in the 52nd minute. With that goal, Portland only required to hold defense and could have won the competition based on the away goal rule.

Luckily for their fans, the Timbers sought a clear win, scoring in the 81st and the 90th + 9 minutes through goals by Gerso Fernandes and Diego Valeri. Coach Giovanni Savares credited his team for the hard work and said the team placed the team where it wanted to be.

“It’s a credit to a group that worked hard, a group that believed all along that we could achieve something great,” the coach said. “Now, this achievement puts us where we want to be, in the final.”

The Timbers will face title favorites Atlanta United at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on December eight.