- Real% 20Sel% 20Lac% 20marquÃ©% 20a% 201-0% 20victoire% 20Ã % 20battre% 20the% 20Timbers% 20on% 20a% 205-2% 20aggregate% 20et% 20move% 20to% 20the% 20MLS% 20Cup
- Sel% 20Lac% 20dernier% 20a won% 20le% 20ligue% 20championnat% 20en% 202009
- Sporting% 20Kansas% 20City% 20will% 20take% 20on% 20Sel% 20Lake% 20on% 20DÃ©c.% 207
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Long after all the fans were gone and the turf was sucked in confetti, Real Salt Lake were still celebrating their Western Conference Championship.
Aided by a boom box, the RSL players sang and danced as they walked to their bus after Sunday night’s 1-0 win over the Portland Timbers. The victory gave Salt Lake a 5-2 cumulative advantage in the two-end conference final.
It also gave the team a place in the MLS Cup against Sporting Kansas City on December 7.
“It’s a good win for the team,” said Robbie Findley, who scored the only goal in the second leg. “I think everyone’s working hard, and when you have that, when you’ve got all the guys determined to work hard and do their jobs, you win games. We feel good right now, but we have some left. one to do. “
Salt Lake, which won the league championship in 2009, took a 4-2 lead two weeks ago at Rio Tinto Stadium in the first game of the conference final.
Salt Lake has made the playoffs for six straight seasons, MLS’s longest active streak. He lost to Seattle in the conference semifinals last season.
RSL qualified for this year’s conference final by knocking out the two-time defending Galaxy League champion in the semifinals.
Sunday’s win extended RSL’s unbeaten streak against Portland to 10 straight games. The Timbers remain winless against Real Salt Lake since they first met when Portland joined MLS in the 2011 season.
Portland entered the game with just one loss at home this season. The Timbers were looking to become the first team in nine years to come back from a two-goal deficit in Game 2 of a combined goal streak.
Portland appeared to score a corner kick in the 15th minute, but the goal was canceled by the referee due to a foul in the box, frustrating the sold-out crowd at Jeld-Wen Field.
Findley scored a rebound in the 29th minute. RSL reserves spilled off the bench to join the celebration on the sidelines, as first-year Timbers coach Caleb Porter watched with pursed lips.
Portland saw a second goal canceled in the 33rd minute when Futty Danso was flagged offside by the linesman.
“If Portland scores the opening goal, they have all the momentum, they’re on their home turf, they have their fans behind them and I think we would have been in a really, really tough situation,” RSL coach Jason Kreis mentioned. . “If we score the first goal, now it’s three goals, now they get a little desperate, some heads hang down and there is some frustration. So great that we scored the goal. It probably wasn’t the most nice that we’ve ever scored but we’ll take it and I think we handled the game well from there. “
Porter said the refereeing was not to blame, but he couldn’t understand why the Timbers’ first goal was called off. He called it a âphantom faultâ.
âI wonder what he saw on this game,â Porter said.
The Timbers outscored Real Salt Lake 18-7 for the game.
âYou could see their maturity, you could see their experience,â Porter said of Salt Lake. “And they did what they had to do.”
Salt Lake was without forward Alvaro Saborio, the team’s leading scorer with 12 goals this season, due to a right hip flexor injury that also kept him out of the first leg. He did not travel to Portland. Salt Lake defender Chris Wingert was also out with a broken rib and a collapsed lung in the first leg.
Meanwhile, Portland’s top scorer Diego Valeri had struggled with a groin injury but trained at full speed this week and started.
Sporting advanced to the final with a 2-1 victory over Houston in the second leg of the Eastern Conference final on Saturday. The teams played a scoreless draw in the first game.
This is Sporting’s first appearance in the MLS Cup since 2004.
The Timbers finished 8-10-16 last season for eighth place in the conference and 17th in the league. But they made a dramatic turnaround under Porter, finishing atop the conference for their first playoff appearance.