Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco each scored and the Portland Timbers earned a spot in the MLS is Back championship game with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night.
Down two goals, Philadelphia closed the gap on Andrew Wooten’s goal in the 85th minute. It appeared the Union pulled even on Kacper Przybylko’s goal a minute later, but it was ruled offside.
Portland earned its spot in the semifinals with a 3-1 victory over NYCFC.
Philadelphia goalkeeper Andre Blake dove to push away Blanco’s early attempt in the 10th minute but some three minutes later Ebobisse’s header off Diego Valeri’s corner kick gave Portland the early lead.
The Union, who had not previously trailed in the tournament, had a chance to pull even in first-half stoppage time when Blanco fouled Jamiro Monteiro. Sergio Santos’ penalty kick went over the bar and two the right.
Santos finished with three goals in the tournament, while Blake led all goalkeepers with 34 saves.
The Timbers, who won the MLS Cup in 2015, had won six of the 10 previous meetings between the two teams. Philadelphia’s only win in the series came back in 2015.
The Union scored three first-half goals in quick succession to defeat Sporting Kansas City 3-1 in the quarter-finals to advance.
The month-long World Cup-style tournament has been played without fans at ESPN’s Wide World Of Sports at Walt Disney World. Players have been sequestered for the duration at Disney resorts.
At the half, MLS commissioner Don Garber told Fox Sports that the league would soon be announcing a schedule for matches once the teams return to their home markets.