The game in 100 words (or less): The Portland Timbers are the kings of Cascadia (playoff edition), as Caleb Porter’s side is one of two remaining sides in the Western Conference portion of the MLS Cup Playoffs after knocking off the Vancouver Whitecaps, 2-0 (2-0 on aggregate) Sunday night at BC Place, two hours after the Seattle Sounders fell to FC Dallas in penalty kicks. Fanendo Adi and Diego Chara provided the Timbers’ goals to send the Timbers to their second conference finals appearance (2013) since making the jump to MLS in 2011. The Whitecaps managed just two shots on target all night after turning in a mostly lifeless performance, particularly after doing a goal down in the first half. In two weeks’ time, Portland and FCD will begin their two-leg conference finals matchup at Providence Park in Portland.
Three moments that mattered
9 — Manneh pings the post from way out — Kekuta Manneh shot out of the starting gate with a rocket strapped to his back. Nine minutes into the game, he embarked upon a one-man counter attack straight through the heart of the Portland midfield. His ensuing shot clanged off the right-hand post of Adam Kwarasey and back into play.
26′ — Manneh tweaks his ankle, has to be subbed out — For the opening 25 minutes, the Whitecaps were flying and looked likely to score two or three goals before halftime. Then Manneh got eaten up by the turf monster and had to be subbed out. From there on, the ‘Caps were mostly lifeless and devoid of the Gambian’s lightning-quick pace on the counter attack.
31′ — Adi’s left foot opens the scoring — One player scored as many goals (6) in the last five games of the regular season as the legendary Didier Drogba — Fanendo Adi. The big Nigerian striker carried that form right into the playoffs and opened the scoring against the Whitecaps with a picture-perfect, sweeping, left-footed finish past David Ousted.
Man of the match: Diego Valeri
Goalscorers: Adi (31′), Chara (90+4′)