Portland reaches knockout stage after 2-1 win over Houston

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Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri (8) celebrates after scoring a goal as midfielder Sebastian Blanco, left, and defender Jorge Villafana (4) come to congratulate him during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Houston Dynamo, Saturday, July 18, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (AP) — Jeremy Ebobisse and Diego Valeri scored for the Portland Timbers, who clinched a spot in the knockout round of the MLS is Back tournament with a 2-1 victory over the Houston Dynamo on Saturday night.

With a pair of wins to open the World Cup-style tournament, the Timbers have secured one of the top two spots in Group F going into Thursday’s match against the Los Angeles Football Club.

Alberth Ellis scored on a penalty kick for the Dynamo, who have one point through two matches. They would need a win over the LA Galaxy on Thursday to have any hope of advancing.

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