Quick Recap: Portland Timbers Outlast Colorado Rapids to Win 1-0

Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

It wasn't pretty, but it was the three points that the Timbers needed to start their move back up the table.

In an otherwise ugly first half, the Portland Timbers got on top early thanks to a poor clearance from Colorado Rapids defender Drew Moor and a beautiful finish from Diego Valeri in the 13'. With the ball being moved around the back line by the Colorado defense, Maximiliano Urruti, getting his first start for the Timbers, put Moor under pressure as the ball was passed back to him. With the Argentine forward closing in, Moor booted the ball up the pitch at a trajectory low enough for Rodney Wallace to get a well-timed head on it. Wallace's header bounced perfectly for Diego Valeri who ran onto the ball and, before he could be closed down by the Rapids, calmly chipped the ball over Rapids' keeper Clint Irwin, who was still stranded in no man's land.

The lead did not look likely to last as the Timbers were under siege for most of the first half. Colorado enjoyed 51% of the possession, although it seemed like much more, thanks to some good pressure from the Rapids' midfield and poor passing on the part of the Timbers, who only had a completion percent of 67% in the half. Adding to the feeling of impending doom were the Rapids' 11 free kicks and 6 corners in the first 45'.

The second half started out with a similar flavor as the Rapids immediately put the Timbers under pressure. In the 61' minute, however, the Timbers started come together with the introduction of Ryan Johnson for Urruti. Both teams had trouble generating clear cut chances as the second half went on, but as the game progressed, the Timbers started to get the better of their conference rivals, largely thanks to the linking and holdup play of Johnson.

Despite the Timbers' continued pressure, the Rapids had the best chance of the half in the 61' when the Timbers failed to clear one of Colorado's nine corner kicks. After several scuffed clearances from the Timbers, the ball fell to an unmarked Edson Buddle near the penalty spot. Buddle turned to shoot on goal with Donovan Ricketts nearly helpless, but his shot was pulled wide of the goal and an audible sigh of relief could be heard from the North End of Jeld-Wen.

The game continued in that fashion with miscues aplenty on either side of the ball until the final whistle let Timbers fans relax at last. The win moves the Timbers into 3rd place in the Western Conference at least until tomorrow's slate of matches.

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