That wasn’t supposed to happen. On a warm, beautiful sunny night in downtown Portland, Oregon, a certain team from California came into Jeld-Wen with perhaps a bit of overconfidence, eh? And finally, FINALLY, the Timbers put together a top notch performance for a full 90 minutes at home to defeat the L.A. Galaxy 3-0 before a giddy and shocked sellout Timbers crowd.
Let’s get a few Timbers fun facts out of the way first, shall we.
- The win snapped LA’s 15 game unbeaten streak.
- It was the Galaxies only 3rd defeat of the season and first since May 1st.
- It was Portland’s first home win since May 21st.
- I finally got to see a win at home and didn’t have a coronary watching the boys blow a lead. (Sorry, I’m still excited)
Where to begin? As the starting lineup was announced, fans learned we’d be playing the top team in the MLS without starting All-Star Captain Jack Jewsbury (groin injury) and had a late scratch in up and coming striker Eddie Johnson (concussion in pregame, replaced by struggling Kenny Cooper). That uneasy feeling slowly melted away though as the opening whistle blew and fans watched a thoroughly dominating performance take place by the home squad. Portland was aggressive and attacked L.A. from the onset. The Galaxy time and again could not keep up with the speed of forward Jorge Perlaza on the long balls (Perlaza’s best match as a Timber in my opinion) and struggled to maintain any sort of quality possession. In the 26th minute, new left back Mike Chabala received a beautiful feed from Darlington Nagbe and kicked the ball in stride beating keeper Josh Saunders for the game’s 1st goal. Minutes later in the 33rd, Diego Chara (playing lights out I feel) fed a ball to Jorge Perlaza at the top of the box who outran the defender and hammered a shot low and in the corner to give the home team a 2-nil lead that they’d take into halftime. The dazed and rabid crowd couldn’t believe the scoreboard at the end of 1. Portland up 2-nil and leading the Galaxy in shots 9-0. Wow indeed.
As expected, the 2nd half saw the Galaxy up the pressure but still unable to muster any real solid chances. The Timbers held ground and provided the tense crowd a sense of relief when Eric Brunner headed in a corner in the 68th minute to give the Timbers a 3-nil lead. And yes, when we hit the 70th minute, the past several games were in the back of the minds of everyone in Jeld-Wen. However, this time the Timbers kept their poise and fought for the entire game to seal the victory and a clean sheet to boot. Let’s face it, the Galaxy looked out of synch and played poorly but who cares, quite frankly. Portland played their best game as a franchise and got their greatest victory as a franchise and the city walked out with smiles on their faces instead of frowns from another bitter result and late game meltdown. A three game road trip looms. Let’s see if the Timbers can carry on with this momentum and start an unbeaten streak of their own.