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2018 Major League Soccer, Knockout - Western Conf
  • Matt Hedges (90'+4')
  • Diego Valeri (23', 71')
  • Larrys Mabiala (58')

Diego Valeri helps 10-man Portland Timbers outlast FC Dallas in MLS playoffs

Diego Valeri scored twice, and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella made five saves, including one with his head, as the 10-man Portland Timbers advanced in the Major League Soccer playoffs by defeating FC Dallas 2-1 on Wednesday night in Frisco, Texas.

The Timbers, the fifth seed in the Western Conference, will play host to either top-seeded Sporting Kansas City or the second-seeded Seattle Sounders in the opener of a two-game, home-and-home semifinal series on Sunday. The opponent will be determined after Thursday's knockout-round game between Los Angeles FC and Real Salt Lake.

Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala received a red card in the 58th minute for a foul just outside the penalty box on Dallas' Dominique Badji that prevented an obvious goal-scoring opportunity. Reto Ziegler's ensuing free kick hit the wall of Portland defenders.

Valeri, the league's MVP last season, put a 25-yard free kick into the upper left corner of the net in the 23rd minute. Dallas goalkeeper Jesse Gonzalez made a diving attempt but couldn't quite reach the ball and ended up crashing into the goalpost.

Despite being a man down, the Timbers doubled their advantage in the 71st minute. Valeri took a back pass from Jeremy Ebobisse at the top of the 18-yard box and put a shot into the lower right corner.

Dallas, which lost its final three matches of the regular season to drop into the knockout round, outshot Portland 22-5, including a 6-3 edge in shots on target.

The only Dallas goal was scored by defender Matt Hedges after a scramble in front of the Portland net in the fourth of seven minutes of second-half stoppage time. Santiago Mosquera and Roland Lamah were credited with assists.

FC Dallas appeared to take the lead in the 12th minute on Ziegler's header off a free kick, but the goal was waved off after a video review because Ziegler was ruled offside on the play.

In the 26th minute, Dallas' Michael Barrios took a pass from Victor Ulloa and sprinted down the right wing, blasting a shot from the edge of the 6-yard box. The ball glanced off Attinella's head and then the crossbar. Mosquera's left-footed rebound attempt from 10 yards out sailed over the top of the net.