Timbers playoff run comes to an end with loss at Jeld-Wen Field - KPTV - FOX 12

Timbers playoff run comes to an end with loss at Jeld-Wen Field

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Robbie Findley's first-half goal put a comeback out of reach for the Timbers and Real Salt Lake advanced to the MLS Cup with a 1-0 victory over Portland on Sunday night for a 5-2 aggregate advantage in the Western Conference final.

Salt Lake took a 4-2 lead two weeks ago at Rio Tinto Stadium in the opener of the two-leg series. RSL, which won the league championship in 2009, will play Sporting Kansas City for this season's title on Dec. 7.

Sunday's victory extended RSL's unbeaten streak against Portland to 10 straight matches. The Timbers remain winless against Real Salt Lake since their first meeting when Portland joined MLS in the 2011 season.

The Timbers run still capped the club's most successful season in MLS since joining the league in 2011. In comparison to 2012 totals, the Timbers assembled a 23-point improvement in points and a 43-goal improvement in goal differential in 2013, which ranks as the biggest turnaround in MLS history, to capture the club's first MLS Cup Playoffs berth as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference. The Timbers were the first club since Real Salt Lake in 2008 to reach the conference championship in its postseason debut.

Notes:

• The Timbers were the fifth club in MLS history since the league's inaugural season in 1996 to advance to the conference championship in their MLS Cup Playoffs debut, and the first club to do so since Real Salt Lake in 2008.

• Portland's 2013 campaign stretched across 266 days from the start of the regular season on March 3 to Sunday's Leg 2 of the Western Conference Championship.

• The Timbers and Real Salt Lake met for a sixth time this season across all competitions – three during the regular season, two in the MLS Cup Playoffs and also met in the U.S. Open Cup.

• The Timbers finished their run in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs having scored seven goals, currently tied for second-most among clubs in the postseason. Only the Houston Dynamo had more with eight and played one more match than the Timbers.

• The Timbers set club MLS Cup Playoff marks in shots (18) and corner kicks (9) in Leg 2 of the Western Conference Championship against Real Salt Lake.

• Portland's 10 shots in the second half on Sunday is tied for the second-most shots in a second half during the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.

• The combined 12 corner kicks are tied for the second-most by both teams in a 2013 MLS Cup Playoff match.

• The Timbers' nine corner kicks against Real Salt Lake are tied for fifth-most in a match during the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.

• The Timbers defense held Real Salt Lake to seven shots, the fewest by a winning club in a single game during the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs. Real Salt Lake attempted just one shot over the final 61 minutes of the matches.

• Robbie Findley's go-ahead goal in the 29th minute marked the first time since July 13 (vs. LA Galaxy) that the Timbers had allowed the opening goal in a match at JELD-WEN Field. It was also the first time in four MLS Cup Playoff games in which the Timbers allowed the first goal of the match.

• Sunday's match also marked the first time the Timbers entered halftime trailing in a match at home since March 9 (vs. Montreal Impact).

• Timbers were forced to make two substitutions in the first half due to injuries to Frederic Piquionne and Rodney Wallace.

• Portland, which ranked among Western Conference leaders with 29 goals scored at home during the regular season, was held scoreless for just the third time at JELD-WEN Field in 2013 across all competitions (23 games).

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Information from the Portland Timbers also added to this report.

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