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Timbers hold off Sounders to advance

Photo: Associated Press

Timbers hold off Sounders to advance

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Diego Valeri blew kisses to the crowd after his goal in the 44th minute and the Portland Timbers held off the late-charging Seattle Sounders 3-2 Thursday night to advance to Major League Soccer’s Western Conference finals.

The Timbers, who won the semifinal series against the rival Sounders 5-3 on aggregate, will face Real Salt Lake in the first of the two-leg conference final on Sunday in Salt Lake. RSL defeated the two-time defending MLS Cup champion Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 Thursday night to win the series 2-1 on aggregate.

The victory extended Portland’s winning streak at Jeld-Wen Field to 16 games. The Timbers went 11-1-5 at home in the regular season with their lone loss on March 9 to Montreal. They had an MLS record 11 shutouts at home this season.

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