Timbers lose MLS Cup to NYCFC in penalties

by Charlie Folkestad

Felipe Mora had an exhausting day.

Mora scored the latest regulation goal in MLS Cup history (94th minute) and then missed his penalty after extra time.

It had to be either a storybook ending or beyond bitter for Portland. There was no in between.

Providence Park’s first-ever MLS Cup final could have been the crown jewel for the Timbers.

But “could have been” will be the moral of this story forever.

Wind and rain assaulted the stadium and its fans throughout. The tension on the field reflected such.

Referee Armando Villareal was letting a lot go. Somehow the first half was clear of cards despite aggression from both teams.

Portland threw everything they had at NYCFC for the final chunk of the match. It paid off.

The visitors played a better game in the first half. MLS Golden Boot winner Taty Castellanos had four chances in the opening 45, capitalizing on a free header at the back post to make it 1-0 in the 41st minute.

Sebastián Blanco returned to the starting XI after missing last match with a thigh injury. He was listed as “questionable” on the injury report.

Dairon Asprilla returned to the wing and George Fochive replaced Cristhian Paredes at holding midfield. Paredes picked up a knock in training prior to the match but substituted on in the second half.

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