PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sebastian Blanco scored the go-ahead goal early in the second half and the Portland Timbers won the Cascadia Cup with a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders on Friday night.
The Cascadia Cup is a three-way competition between the Timbers, Sounders and the Vancouver Whitecaps. It was created by supporters of all three clubs before they joined MLS. The Timbers needed a win or draw to claim the title for the first time since 2017.
Dairon Asprilla converted a penalty kick for the Timbers, who snapped a two-game losing streak as they fight to make the playoffs.
Yeimar Gomez scored for the Seattle, which also is clinging to playoff hopes with seven games remaining. The Sounders have never missed the MLS postseason.
The Timbers rose above the playoff line into seventh in the tight Western Conference standings, with just six games left. The Sounders dropped to 10th.
It was the second of three straight road matches for the Sounders, who played to a 3-3 draw with the LA Galaxy last Friday. Portland was coming off of a 4-1 loss to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.
Gomez's header off a cross into box from Alex Roldan put the Sounders in front in the eighth minute.
Portland pulled even in the 41st when Asprilla converted a penalty kick. He celebrated with a backflip.
Moments later Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei deflected Asprilla's hard shot from distance and the match was tied at 1-1 at the break.
Portland took the lead early in the second half. Asprilla tapped Eryk Williamson's free kick to an onrushing Sebastian Blanco for the goal in the 51st. It was Blanco's seventh goal of the season.
Tempers flared late in the game, with some shoving in the 77th minute that resulted in a yellow card for Portland's Zac McGraw.
Seattle defender Jackson Ragan nearly scored with a header off a corner in the 85th.
The Timbers won the last meeting 3-0 in Seattle on July 9.
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Anne M. Peterson, The Associated Press