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Thursday, September 28, 2023
Sept. 28, 2023

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Timbers’ season ends on penalty shootout loss to FC Dallas

Portland allowed tying goal in last minutes of regulation


PORTLAND — Jimmy Maurer stopped Jorge Villafana’s shootout attempt and FC Dallas advanced 8-7 on penalty kicks in the Major League Soccer playoffs after a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday night.

Dallas will face the winner of Tuesday night’s match between the defending champion Seattle Sounders and LAFC in the Western Conference semifinals.

Villafana scored in the 81st minute to give Portland the lead, but 17-year-old Ricardo Pepi’s goal in stoppage time sent the match into overtime.

Portland was coming off a 1-1 draw with LAFC in the final regular-season game. Villafana scored the late equalizer in that game.

Against Dallas, Villafana took a short, well-placed pass from Diego Valeri and buried the ball into the far corner. It was Valeri’s 100th assist across all competitions.

Pepi scored on the rebound of his shot that hit the post three minutes into stoppage time. He’s the youngest player ever to score in the postseason for Dallas.

Valeri nearly scored at the end of extra time but his shot hit the far post.

Dallas, which won just one match on the road during the shortened regular season, fell 3-0 to Minnesota United on Decision Day after a three-game winning streak.

The Timbers won the MLS is Back Tournament in a bubble in Florida over the summer. But Portland has been hit by key injuries to Sebastian Blanco and Jaroslaw Niezgoda. Blanco was the MVP of MLS is Back.

Dallas did not play in the tournament because of positive coronavirus cases on the team.

Portland saw the return of Jeremy Ebobisse, who came in as a late substitute after missing matches with a concussion.

Franco Jara appeared to score for Dallas in the 30th minute but was determined to be offside after video review.

The Timbers won the MLS Cup in 2015, and went to the final in 2018. FC Dallas has never won the league championship.

It is the third time the teams have met in the playoffs. The last was in 2018, when the Timbers won 2-1 on the way to the final.