Sun, 20 Sep 2020

Timbers top Orlando City in MLB is Back final

Field Level Media
12 Aug 2020, 13:19 GMT+10

Dario Zuparic's tiebreaking goal in the 66th minute was the difference as the Portland Timbers defeated Orlando City 2-1 in the final of the MLS is Back Tournament on Tuesday near Orlando.

Portland earned a spot in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League.

Larrys Mabiala gave the Timbers the lead in the 27th minute before Mauricio Pereyra tied it 1-1 for Orlando in the 39th.

The Lions were seeking their first trophy since joining MLS in 2015.

Portland had several opportunities to break the deadlock before Zuparic scored.

Diego Valeri had his 20-yard free kick denied on diving stop to his left by goalkeeper Pedro Gallese in the 65th minute. On the ensuing corner kick, Gallese made a stop on a strike by Jeremy Ebobisse, who figured in the go-ahead score.

On the corner kick after the Gallese save, Valeri sent the ball to the top of the box, where Eryk Williamson took a shot. The ball hit Ebobisse on the foot and went directly to Zuparic for the goal.

Portland opened the scoring in the title game at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.

The Timbers played their patented patience game and struck when given an opening. That occurred when Valeri sent a curling free kick 30 yards to the box, where Mabiala had inside positioning for a powerful header.

The ball bounced once and went past Gallese for Portland's first shot of the match and Mabiala's first goal of the tournament. Valeri was credited with his fourth assist.

Orlando countered with a build-up that sent Nani down the left flank. His cross to the middle of the box deflected off Williamson to Pereyra. Nani got his fifth assist.

The teams will leave the MLS bubble to resume the regular season when Orlando plays at Inter Miami on Aug. 22 and the Timbers host the Seattle Sounders on Aug. 23.

--Field Level Media

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