MX23RW : Friday, April 26 06:15:25| >> :600:107971182:107971182:
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
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City35292489226789
2Liverpool35277179205988
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal35206969462366
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd35197963501364
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves35149124443151
8Watford35148135050050
9Everton35147145044649
10Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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