Timbers and Sporting KC open conference finals with 0-0 draw

PORTLAND, Ore. — Sporting Kansas City and Portland Timbers battled to a scoreless draw Sunday night in Portland.

Both sides had scoring chances, but neither side was able to break through. Now the series shifts to Kansas City for the second leg of the MLS Western Conference finals.

Goalkeeper Tim Melia was superb. His diving save off a Portland corner kick in in the 82nd minute preserved the shutout.

Portland thought they had scored a goal earlier in the half, but the Timbers were ruled to be offsides. The Timbers also had a shot in the first half that pinged off the right goal post.

The decisive second leg of the series will be played Thursday night at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30. The winner advances to the MLS Cup Final on December 8 in either New York Red Bull Arena or in Atlanta.

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