Despite loss to Timbers, Whitecaps advance to MLS playoff
Vancouver, BC, Canada (4E Sports) – Midfielder Jack Jewsbury buried a 25-yard goal in the 39th minute as the Portland Timbers got some consolation in a disappointing season by capturing the Cascadia Cup with a 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps Sunday at BC Place.
Portland’s victory also sealed the playoff picture in the Western Conference, with the Whitecaps advancing to the next round despite the loss by virtue of Seattle’s 3-1 victory over Dallas.
The first Canadian team to make it to the MLS playoff, the Whitecaps play the Los Angeles Galaxy in a knockout match at Home Depot Center in two weeks, with the winner facing the San Jose Earthquakes in a home-and-home semifinal.
“From the start of the season that was our goal was to get into the playoffs,” Whitecaps head coach Martin Rennie said. “Taking over a team that was last in the table and had a poor record last season, it’s actually quite a big achievement to reach the playoffs I think.
Seattle and Real Salt Lake will contest the other Western semifinal. They are both tied with 56 points and the regular season’s final weekend will determine the second and third seeds in that pairing.
Jewsbury’s goal in the 39th minute that went past goalkeeper Brad Knighton capped a strong first half for the Timbers, who attempted seven shots to Vancouver’s two and kept the ball for 52.6 percent.
“It seems every time I’m in there I’m giving up the goal of the week,” Knighton said of the shot. “But credit to him – it was a good strike. But, we just didn’t take our chances here today and left 1-0 down.”
Portland had an earlier chance to score in the 35th minute but Bright Dike’s kick was blocked by Knighton.
The Whitecaps also had an opportunity to score in the second half when Barry Robson found Camilo sneaking behind the Timbers’ backline but goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts anticipated the play.
The Whitecaps will wrap up their regular-season schedule next Saturday against Real Salt Lake while the Timbers will host the San Jose Earthquakes at JELD-WEN Field on the same day.