What an absolute thriller last night in Seattle as the Timbers and Sounders played leg two of the MLS Cup Conference Semifinal. In the first game here in Portland, the Timbers won 2-1. The game was goalless up until the 68th minute when Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz snuck one into the right corner after Timber’s keeper Attinella wasn’t able to hold on to the ball.
Although this ties the aggregate goals to 2-2, Seattle will win if the game ends this way since their one goal against the Timbers was an away goal. Away goals in these two-leg fixtures are the first tiebreaker. Everyone here was thinking about that math when until the Timbers’ Sebastián Blanco struck goal 10 minutes later.
This goal was important not only because it brought the Timber’s up 3-2 on aggregate, but this means that the Timbers and Sounders were tied for away goals. Portland was up for 15 minutes until Raúl Ruidíaz hammers another one in to bring the score to 3-3 on aggregate and force extra time three minutes into stoppage time.
With this goal, everything is tied up. The aggregate goal count is 3-3 and the tie breaking away goal count is 1-1. This is the ONLY
So, into extra time. If you’re not familiar with football, they do not typically use the golden goal (sudden death) in extra time (overtime). You must play out a miniaturized version of a match. Two 15-minute halves starting the clock at minute 90.
Three minutes into extra time, Portland’s Dairon Asprilla headers in a goal to make the aggregate score 4-3.
Portland is up with 27 more minutes left in extra time. All is good and well for four minutes until a pretty ridiculous call was made by the match official. In football, a handball is a foul. However, there is some leeway given to the officials on determining if a handball was intentional or not. A handball should NOT be called for instances of protecting yourself (hand comes up to protect your face and then the ball smacks you) or in situations when it was accidental (the ball is kicked at close range and strikes your arm). Suffice to say, the handball situation is a hot topic of conversation nearly weekly somewhere in the world. And so it was last night on social media by Portland fans after this string of events leads to a penalty kick for Seattle. (A direct free kick foul in the penalty area results in a penalty kick.)
And that was the last of the goals in extra time. There was a mini-halftime at 105:00. Another 15 minutes was played with one scary moment for Portland when it looked as if Seattle’s Raúl Ruidíaz had broken the ongoing draw and claimed a hat-trick. It was disallowed due to a handball.
With the aggregate score now tied up at 4-4 and
The Portland Timbers win the Western Conference Semifinals with the aggregate score of Portland Timbers 4 (4) – Seattle Sounders 4 (2)