Portland Tops Philadelphia to Secure a Spot in MLS is Back Finals

Timbers' Diego Valeri in 2017. Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Csm/Shutterstock

Portland Timbers is the first team to advance to the MLS is Back Tournament Finals. Timbers secure their spot by beating Philadelphia Union 1-2 on Wednesday night.

Despite Philly being the slight favorite entering the game, the pressure seemed too much for the young Union squad. On the other hand, the experienced Portland team held their ground and looked like a better team despite sacrificing possession for the majority of the game.

Timbers opened the scoring early on thanks to forward Jeremy Ebobisse, who converted a beautiful cross by Diego Valeri in the 13th minute.

Portland then increased their league in 70th minute via veteran Sebastian Blanco, who scored after a header after a corner deflection. 

Union had chances of their own and was close to equalize late in the first half via a penalty kick. Unfortunately for Philly, Sergio Santos sent the ball over the crossbar. Andrew Wooten did manage to score in 85th minute to give an impression of a thrilling finish, but that was about it.

Timbers now await the winner of the second semifinals matchup between Orlando City and Minnesota United. MLS is Back Finals are scheduled for August 11th.