Timbers Fall to FC Dallas in Penalty Shootout, Villafaña’s Shot Denied as Promising Season Comes to an End

The Portland Timbers came into the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs feeling confident about playing an FC Dallas club that they have not played yet this season. Throughout the entire year, Portland had been bouncing back and forth from California and Oregon, with roughly three days of rest between each match.

The Timbers would not only have the luxury of getting two weeks of rest since their last MLS match, but they would also be opening the playoffs in their home stadium at Providence Park.

During the first half of play, Portland had plenty of opportunities to get on the board but could not capitalize. FC Dallas nearly broke the scoreless game open when Franco Jara scored on a through ball from Ryan Hollingshead, but the goal was overturned due to an offsides call after replay review.

Both teams went into the locker room at the break still scoreless at 0-0.

Things started heating up in the second half for Portland, who had plenty of shots on goal resulting in a flurry of corner kicks. Cristhian Paredes and  Felipe Mora were making things difficult for the FC Dallas defense, pressuring and getting good looks on goal, but goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer managed to Portland off the board.

FC Dallas had an excellent opportunity on a 2-on-1 breakaway, but Diego Chara made a critical stop to prevent any damage from being done in the 65th minute.

In the 82nd minute, Jorge Villafaña broke the scoreless game on a beautiful left-footed shot over Maurer’s head, set up by the assist from Diego Valeri.

All season, the Achilles heel for the Timber’s had been surrendering late goals when leading or tied. Sunday night was no different, as Ricardo Pepi put one in from very close range in the 92nd minute. The goal by Pepi would force extra time for Portland and FC Dallas.

Neither team could put the game away in extra time, so the match would go to penalty kicks. The Timbers were 3-0 all-time when going to PK’s since joining the MLS.

The excitement was kicked up a notch in PK’s where both teams could not miss, going back and forth trading scores until the Timbers’ 8th and final attempt.

Jorge Villafaña, who had scored the first goal for Portland, had his shot denied by Jimmy Maurer. The save by Maurer would ultimately put an end to the Portland Timbers’ season as the rain continued to pour down at Providence Park.


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