NORTH AMERICA

Portland Timbers are the MLS is Back Tournament champions


2015 MLS Cup winners Portland Timbers have won the MLS is Back Tournament thanks to two wonderful set-piece goals from two defenders against finalists Orlando City SC.

The victory did not only give the Timbers their second title in MLS but it also awarded them a spot in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League as well as a $300,000 prize money.

It was business as usual for the Timbers who got on the scoresheet after 27 minute through defender Larrys Mabiala, who nodded home a looping free kick from Man of the Match Diego Valeri for the 1-0 lead.

Orlando got the equalizer when Mauricio Pereyra bundled home at the near post as he latched onto Nani’s low cross in the 39th minute.

But the Timbers had other ideas as they capitalized on another set piece, this time through Dario Zuparic, to regain the lead and the ultimate game-winner in the 66th minute. After Eryk Williamson collected a Valeri corner kick with time and space, the Croatian center back swept home the eventual goalmouth scramble for a 2-1 lead.

The MLS is Back special tournament was organized by the Major League Soccer (MLS) to usher in the return of the 2020 MLS season after the league was postponed in March due to the Covid-19 global pandemic.
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