The Portland Timbers beat the Columbus Crew in the MLS Cup Final, claiming a 2-1 victory at Mapfre Stadium in Ohio on Sunday.
Goals from Diego Hernan Valeri and Rodney Wallace crowned the Timbers as league champions, while Kei Kamara gave the Crew a vital lifeline in the match.
Columbus was overpowered throughout the game, despite fighting hard to get itself an equalizer during rare spells of dominance, but the Timbers were clearly the superior team on the night.
The Crew made the most catastrophic start possible, as goalkeeper Steve Clark took too long with his clearance and smashed his kick against the onrushing Valeri. The ball deflected over the line for the first goal of the game, with Columbus conceding after only 30 seconds of the match.
Clark held his head in his hands upon realizing his huge mistake, as Portland celebrated wildly in front of the Columbus fans.
The Timbers celebrated the historic goal on Twitter:
Fox Sports host Rob Stone could not believe what he saw from Clark:
Unsavory scenes were captured as Columbus fans littered the pitch with bottles while the Portland players celebrated, via Timbers blog Stumptown Footy:
The Crew endured further disaster six minutes later, as Rodney Wallace made it 2-0.
Once again, the hosts were caught napping and cheaply conceded possession of the ball after thinking play would stop for a throw-in. However, the referee waved for play to continue, and the Timbers quickly broke up the field.
It was left to Lucas Melano to whip the ball into the box, finding Wallace scooting across the area, who clinically headed his goal with brilliant precision.
Sports agent Ron Waxman was unhappy with the assistant referee's role in the second goal after not giving a throw-in:
To their credit, Columbus rallied after their poor start and began to pressure the visitors in search of a way back into the tie.
Columbus' wish was answered during the 18th minute through a scrappy effort by Kamara, who swung his foot at the ball to grab a goal back for the Crew.
The ball ricocheted around the box, but the 31-year-old striker was able to control his effort and find the target.
MLS shared the moment on its official Twitter account:
Oregonian reporter Jamie Goldberg commented on the lack of skill on display as the teams battled at a frantic pace:
Patrick Murphy of Massive Report debated whether fans would see a record score on Sunday after the rapid goalscoring start:
The teams caught their breath as the referee ended a first half filled with drama and its fair share of tough tackling.
Columbus had dominated the ball at feet after finding a way into the match, while Portland sat and waited for the counter.
ESPN's Paul Carr made note of the key win-loss scenarios:
The Crew were back on the front foot immediately in the second half, as the Timbers looked to consolidate their lead.
Portland almost put the game to bed on the hour mark, hacking at the ball in the six-yard area as it rebounded against several players. The ball was cleared off the line twice and hit the woodwork as many times in the blink of an eye, but the Crew kept their interests alive.
The Timbers' advantage on the scoreboard started to work in their favor as the Crew began to tire and run out of steam. The Timbers looked to add a third goal ahead of their rivals, who were slowly slipping from contention.
Fanendo Adi watched as his header clipped the post for Portland, but Clark scrambled to keep the ball out of the net.
Columbus had few answers in the final moments, as Portland maintained control and superiority in front of the jubilant Timbers army of fans.
Portland claimed the championship in what was a largely disappointing performance from Columbus. The early goals sealed the game for the victors, and the Crew didn't have the fortitude to overturn the two-goal lead.
It was party time for the Timbers, who won their first-ever championship on Sunday evening. The Timbers showed the team accepting the MLS Cup:
The celebrations went from the pitch to the locker room, as Major League Soccer and the Timbers showed:
Third-year head coach Caleb Porter credited his team's ideologies following the victory, per the Oregonian's Molly Blue:
But Porter also noted the defensive effort helped, via 750 AM's Fletcher Johnson. The back line preserved the win after seeing their lead halved in the first half.
While the enormity of the win might not have hit Porter yet, per ESPN's Jeff Carlisle, he will have plenty of time to revel in his championship:
It's quite a feat from Porter to lead a team to a championship just three years into his first professional coaching gig. With a hard-nosed team that continually finds ways to win, Portland has delivered a major men's championship to the city for the first time since the Trail Blazers won the 1977 NBA championship.