Full Recap: Portland Stays atop the Conference

Stacey Neve

The Portland Timbers played to a 0-0 draw in their last home regular season game of the season.

This was a match-up of two similar styles using two different formations. Both teams like to press and create turnovers in the opponents defensive third, both teams like to possess the ball and work the passing lanes and both teams like to suffocate the opposition's midfield. Which leads to a very physical and what some would call a "sloppy game".

The first 70 minutes of the game was a battle and one that saw both teams create chances but all of them never hassled either keeper. In fact the game was on pace to break the record of 2 shots on goal for the lowest total of shots on goal in an MLS game. Despite that dismal fact Portland actually looked like the more dangerous side as they had two or three chances which missed by inches.

Over final 20 minutes of the game Portland created the quality chances while RSL struggled to break down Portland's defense. The only reason Portland was not able to score? Two words: Nic Rimando. There are times when you just have to tip your hat to a player and say "good job". Tonight you just have to give Rimando his props and move on.

Three times Nic Rimando made the save to deny Portland the goal they desperately wanted. Once it was on a point blank shot by Kalif Alhassan and on the play Rimando made a great reaction save as he went to ground to stop the quick shot. The second and third saves will easily win save of the week. It was a double save off of a set piece hit into the box by Will Johnson.

The first header was Rimando's right but hit with enough pace (Writing the recap after doing homework until1 am is not a good idea) Will Johnson's shot was hit with enough pace that Rimando was unable to secure the ball and the rebound bounced right to Sal Zizzo. Zizzo's header was headed back across the goal towards the far post and would have gone in if Rimando had not recovered and stuck a hand up to deflect the shot away from goal.

Portland held the best offense in the league, and the best road offense in the league, to zero goals and zero shots on goal. They have now gone 5 games without giving up a goal at home and are unbeaten in their last 6. Portland is entering the playoffs with momentum, especially after playing playoff teams a lot over the last month.

Observations

  • PORTLAND MADE THE PLAYOFFS!
  • RSL and Portland games are epic.
  • Rimando stood on his head.
  • I swear I saw Donovan Ricketts picking Daisies.
  • Saborio gave WIll Johnson a love tab with his elbow. Maybe that will be looked at later.
  • Portland is in the playoffs!!!!!
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