The Portland Timbers score their fastest goal of the year but then have their worst 9 minutes of soccer and give up 4 goals. Portland is able to get one back for a 4-2 half time score. In the second half Portland did not quit but were still unable to get it closer than 2. 5-3 final.
You couldn't have asked for a better start from the Portland Timbers, especially against a team that has not played well from behind. After a fortuitous bounce off of David "Pretty Spice" Beckham's noggin, Captain Jack Jewsbury found Kalif Alhassan on the wings. KAH then took a touch and hit a beautiful ball to the near post and Kris Boyd was able to get to the ball and poke it past Josh Saunders for the first goal of the game.
The goal energized not only the crowd but also the Timbers as they passed the ball with efficiency -- and on the ground more than any other time this season. Even with the fast start and the crowd behind the team, though, cracks started to show in the Timbers' defense as they allowed the LA Galaxy time and space in the middle of the pitch and in front of the two CDM's of Lovel Palmer and Jewsbury.
Over the next 15 minutes Portland continued to possess the ball but gave up dangerous counter attacks. They really dodged a bullet when Hector Jimenez found himself one on one against Troy Perkins, but his shot was pushed wide left. Less than one minute later LA got the equalizer. David Beckham found the ball 35 yards out and looked around, brewed some tea, ate some biscuits and shot an underwear commercial. After doing all that he still had time to easily place the ball far post and over the out stretched arms of Troy Perkins.
Five minutes later Landon Donovan drew a free kick in the perfect spot for David Beckham, and he calmly stepped up and hit the ball over the wall in 1 inch inside the near post. You could have had 14 men in the wall and the ball still would have gone in. Maybe if you had 14 Peter Crouches the wall might have been effective.
Three minutes after that goal, Portland again gave up another goal. This time on a long throw-in somehow Michael Stephens was all alone in Portland's box, behind Kosuke Kimura, who, in trying to recover, ran into him. It was deemed a foul by Baldomero Toledo, and therefore a PK. Landon Donovan easily put it in.
With Portland going from 1 goal up to 3 goals down in 9 minutes they easily could have hung their heads and rolled over just like they had before. This time it was different, not sure who gets the credit of that but the Timbers did seem like they had more fight in them.
The fight and the Timbers' persistence paid off in the 34th minute. Kris Boyd hit a screamer of a free kick straight at Saunders, who spilled the ball right in front of Kimura. Kimura easily put in the rebound to pull Portland back within 2.
The half ended 4-2, and Portland went into the locker room looking for answers.
The Second half started much like the first half for the Timbers as they were able to get 2 shots on target in the first three minutes but both of them were saved by Saunders. LA Galaxy went back to their bread and butter: with a second half lead, they bunker. Once they bunker they look to counter after their opposition loses the ball.
With LA countering every chance they got, Portland had shaky moments in the back and were very fortunate to not have given up another goal in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The bend-but-don't-break defense finally broke, as Brent Richards was unable to stop a long ball from getting behind the defense to Sean Franklin. Franklin had so much time he easily picked out Keane, who again found himself between our two CBs unmarked, and he easily hit the ball passed Troy.
Once again Portland did not give up, though, and they kept trying to get back into the game. They were able to pull one back in the 70th minute when they earned a free kick about 25 yards from goal. For the second time tonight Portland set up Kris Boyd for a rocket of a free kick. This time the ball went through the packed box and into the back of the net. The goal would be the last scoring opportunity for either side.
- Palmer and Jewsbury looked lost when they played alongside each other
- A few players really looked good out there but a few really looked lost
- Richards look good in spurts but still needs to get used to the pace of play.
- I liked seeing Eric Alexander in the middle of the pitch.
- A few positives to take a way from the game but a lot more negatives.