Larrys Mabiala scored a dramatic goal in the 90th minute as the visiting Portland Timbers took a 1-0 victory over top seeded Colorado Rapids on Thursday to advance to the Western Conference finals.
Mabiala scored for the second consecutive game after the season in a scramble after a corner kick.
Felipe Mora was blocked from close range with his right foot, but the ball rolled through a defender to Mabiala. Mabiala corrected the ball and lifted a right footed shot from the center of the box just over Colorado goalkeeper William Yarbrough.
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The fourth-seeded Timbers advanced to the conference finals for the first time since winning the 2015 MLS Cup. Portland will take on Sporting Kansas City or Real Salt Lake next weekend and will get the home game if RSL goes through.
Mabiala scored on a day when Sebastian Blanco left the field early in the second half due to an apparent leg injury. Four minutes after Mabiala’s clutch result, Portland’s Darion Asprilla was shown the red card, automatically suspending him from the next round and leaving the Timbers with 10 players for the final three minutes.
Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark made all three saves in the first half. Portland was defeated 9-2 in the first half, but finished with a 12-10 lead in shots.
In the 14th minute, Clark made a dive save on Dominique Badjii. He made another dive save when he stopped Cole Bassett’s left attempt in the 28th minute.
Colorado failed to progress on a day when it held 55.1 percent of the game. The setback was the second home this season.
Yarbrough made three saves, but was slightly out of position when Portland scored.
Before scoring the winning goal, Portland had four chances in the 65th minute that were cleared by the Colorado defense.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda started it when his header was blocked before Claudio Bravo had blocked a long shot. A right shot from Yimmi Chara sailed to the left and an attempt by Josecarlos Van Rankin from a sharp corner was blocked.
Portland missed another chance in the 84th minute when it got a quick break to see Chara’s left shot sailed well to the left from six yards. Chara missed another chance four minutes later when Yarbrough used his right hand to push the shot away.