MLS is Back Tournament Final
The Portland Timbers deny Orlando City SC with a 2-1 victory in the final at Orlando ESPN World of Sports. The trophy is the second silverware won in the Timbers’ history, alongside the 2015 MLS Cup. Portland Timbers FC also punched their ticket onto the Concacaf Champions League group stage next season.
In a very close game the Timbers were first to strike at the 27th minute by Mabiala. Orlando City took no time to react as Pereyra leveled the tie within five minutes before the break, 39th. The Timbers found the decision during the second half thanks to a goal from Zuparic in the middle of the second 45 minutes.
The scoreboard would not change despite Orlando pressure to find the equlizers. The Floridians only shot on target once in the whole game. They dominated possession, had many tries but did not have the accuracy needed in such a big game. They knocked on the door but ultimately Timbers experience prevailed.
Coach Savarese on the title
“I thought that our game plan was executed well by closing the spaces through the middle. We didn’t allow them to be able to penetrate too many times. We knew their combinations on top of the box, we knew that they’re dangerous with the wide players, with their fullback Ruan on the right side and on the left-hand side with Nani. And I thought that the guys did a great job to make sure that we didn’t allow them to be able to get into those spaces so they can hurt us.
“I think the first probably 20 minutes were the most difficult. And then little by little we started getting the ball a little bit more, moving it around, getting a little bit more possession, attacking the spaces in behind, being more dangerous. And scoring the first goal was a very important sign for us to feel that we were following the right path.”
Orlando’s forward Nani commented on the disappointing result. He believes his side was better despite the loss in the final.
“We improved as a group, as a club and let’s be honest, we must accept we are not the same team as before. And you all know that. You all saw our games, you have seen this final. You’ve seen the way we’ve been playing and the way every team who plays against us behaves against us.
So let’s be honest with our team. We know we are a team who needs to improve a little more, but at this moment I’m so happy to be on this team with this coach and with this staff. Because we showed – we took these two months to improve and we did it. And my hope to our fans and all the people who trusted us the first day. I hope they’re proud of us because from today we just can be better. And to every team in MLS now who will face us, they know they will face a strong team and the respect will be there on the field”