MX23RW : Friday, January 18 08:11:24
Nov 23, 2015 at 12.30am UK at ​Jeld-Wen Field
PortlandPortland Timbers
3-1
Dallas
Ridgewell (23'), Asprilla (53'), Borchers (91')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Texeira (62')

Result: Portland Timbers secure two-goal advantage over Dallas

Portland Timbers put one foot in the MLS Cup final with a 3-1 first-leg win over Dallas at Providence Park.

Portland Timbers have put themselves within touching distance of the MLS Cup final after securing a two-goal advantage over Dallas in the first leg of the Western Conference final at Providence Park.

Timbers finished two places and seven points behind Western Conference winners Dallas in the regular season but they made a lightning start in front of their own fans in only their second conference final, with Lucas Melano testing Jesse Gonzalez inside the opening 30 seconds.

With five minutes barely on the clock Melano gave Gonzalez another scare as the goalkeeper spilled his shot onto the post, and the Argentine livewire rolled an effort inches past the far post minutes later as Portland came out of the blocks well on the front foot.

Dallas, playing in their first conference final in five years, finally began to find a foothold in the game and had sights of goal through Kellyn Acosta and Mauro Diaz, but Adam Kwarasey was twice equal to the task in the Portland goal.

However, it was no surprise when it was the hosts who opened the scoring midway through the first half as Liam Ridgewell bundled home from point-blank range after Dairon Asprilla had flicked on a corner at the near post.

Nat Borchers was denied by Gonzalez as the home side went in immediate search of a second, and the Dallas stopper had to turn a header from Acosta over the crossbar to prevent an own goal just two minutes into the second half.

The pressure told eight minutes after the restart as Timbers doubled their lead in spectacular fashion, Asprilla catching Gonzalez off guard with a swerving effort from 25 yards as Portland established a commanding advantage in the two-legged tie.

However, minutes after Ryan Hollingshead had missed a glorious opportunity to halve the deficit for Dallas when he was put one-on-one, the visitors did find an important away goal when David Texeira got in front of his man at the near post to clip home.

That goal briefly gave Dallas the ascendancy, but there was a sting in the tail as Gonzalez could not hold a header from a corner and Borchers poked home in the first minute of injury time to extend Portland's home unbeaten run over Dallas to seven games and put them in control ahead of next Sunday's second leg.

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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34225762332971
2Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34216770442669
3New York City FCNY City341681059451456
4DC United341491160501051
5Columbus Crew34149114345-251
6Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia34155144950-150
7Montreal ImpactMontreal34144164753-646
8New England RevolutionNew England341011134955-641
9Toronto34106185964-536
10Chicago Fire3488184861-1332
11Orlando City3484224374-3128

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Sporting Kansas CityKansas34188865402562
2Seattle SoundersSeattle341851152371559
3Los Angeles FCLos Angeles34169968521657
4Dallas3416995244857
5Portland TimbersPortland35159115450454
6Real Salt LakeSalt Lake34147135558-349
7Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy34139126664248
8Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver34138135467-1347
9Houston DynamoHouston34108165858038
10Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd34113204971-2236
11Colorado RapidsColorado3487193663-2731
12San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes3449214971-2221

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