The Portland Timbers exited Group F, named the Group of Death in the MLS is Back Tournament, undefeated, and champions of the group.
It wasn't easy, but they continued that momentum all the way to the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament, after defeating FC Cincinnati in penalties (4-2) in the Round of 16 Tuesday evening.
After dominating possession for large stretches of the game, Timbers designated player Jarek Niezgoda finished a cross from Sebastian Blanco to get Portland on the board, 1-0 in the 67th minute.
However, disaster struck when goaltender Steve Clark inexplicably gave up a penalty kick in the box after failing to safely grab the ball in the 79th minute.
FC Cincinnati would convert the opportunity into a goal in the 81st minute.
Thankfully, a disallowed FC Cincinnati goal in the 61st made it so the penalty kick just tied the game, rather than give them the lead.
When regulation ended, the two teams were tied at one apiece.
Steve Clark would redeem himself in the penalty shootout, however, saving the third penality kick attempt from FC Cincinnati. The opposing team would send the next penalty kick over the net.
Then, striker Jarek Niezgoda would finish the shootout with a fourth consecutive converted kick by Portland, to advance.
Simply put, this was a game where the Timbers survived and advanced.
The Timbers will play NYCFC in the quarterfinals on August 1st at 7:30 p.m. PT.