November 30, 2015 / 12:41 AM / 3 years ago

Timbers beat Dallas to advance to MLS Cup final

Portland Timbers defender/midfielder Rodney Wallace (22) and FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman (25) fight for the ball in the first half of leg two of the Western Conference championship at Toyota Stadium. Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

(Reuters) - The Portland Timbers qualified for their first Major League Soccer Cup final after edging FC Dallas in the Western Conference championship on Sunday.

After winning the first leg 3-1 at home last weekend, Portland drew the second 2-2 to advance 5-3 on aggregate.

But it was not easy for the Timbers, who were on the defensive for much of the second half before a goal deep in stoppage time by striker Lucas Melano sealed the result.

In just their fifth season in the league, the Timbers advanced to play either the Columbus Crew or New York Red Bulls in the championship decider next Sunday.

Dallas, who boasted a league-best 13 home wins during the regular season, needed to win at least 2-0 at Toyota Stadium on Sunday to overturn their first-leg deficit.

But the top seed in the West created few decent early chances against a team that has not lost on the road since the end of August.

The Timbers bided their time before Nigerian striker Adi pounced in the 51st minute.

That meant Dallas needed to score three times inside the final 40 minutes, and they responded with two quick goals by Ryan Hollingshead (68th minute) and Blas Perez (73rd minute).

But they could not get the third goal they needed to level the aggregate score, and Melano’s 95th minute goal ended the tie.

Reporting by Andrew Both in Tokyo; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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