The Portland Timbers started out a little lethargic but in control of the game. The lethargic start was more than likely due to the mix of players who had not seen a lot of time and some who have seen some first time minutes. The Tampa Bay Rowdies on the other hand started with confidence won by defeating the Seattle Sounders last round and the belief they could play with any MLS club.
Tampa's confidence took a huge blow in the 9th minute. Portland's attack down the middle was covered and eventually stopped but the block of a pass bounced high into the air and towards the left corner of the box. The first player to the ball was Michael Nanchoff and while he was running towards the sideline he hit a volley back across his body. The volley was MLS goal of the week worthy as it found the lower corner of the far post past a wrong footed Tampa Bay.
Nanchoff''s goal was Portland's morning shot of espresso and afterwards their energy was greatly increased as the pressed for the next goal. While the energy was increased and the crispness of passing was better, the final quality ball into or near Tampa's box was lacking and Portland was not able to create any dangerous chances.
With no goal to show for their added energy Portland slowly allowed Tampa to find their feet and regain a little of their early confidence and by the time the half ended they game had become a more even affair. The most exciting action of the half after the goal involved Caleb Porter. Michael Nanchoff was near the sideline and his tackle on Caleb Porter was text book. After Caleb was taken out the TA chanted "cleats up Porter, cleats up"
The second half was much the same and the game was put to bed in the 54th minute. Off of a Portland Free kick Frederic PIquionne skied the ladder and headed the ball from the near post to the middle of the goal. Jack Jewsbury had beating his man and got to the ball first and kneed it into the back of the net for the second goal. Even with 35 minutes to go the game felt like it was over.
Portland advances to their first USOC quarterfinal with solid performances from some key reserves. The line-up also allowed Porter to rest key players for the big game against FC Dallas this weekend.