What a first start for Fanendo Adi and up until the 60th minute what a boring game.
Opening Whistle-30': Right from the opening whistle you heard the air brake being pulled as Chivas USA parked the bus. They were going to keep everything in front of them and not let Portland through their wall of 10 field players. The Portland Timbers on the other hand did not have the players to breakdown Chivas' wall of flesh. Gaston Fernandez and Kalif Alhassan had the technical skill to do so but neither of them were able to receive the ball in the space between the backline and the 5 midfielders clogging the passing lanes. This all lead to a lot of square and back passes amongst the back 6 and every once in a while a long ball which did not connect.
Portland did find some success by playing through Michael Nanchoff but his decisions in the final third left were a bit disappointing. It was as if he had never been in the box before and got over excited.
30'-45': Inexplicably around the 30th minute more Goats started to show up in their final third of the field. This opened the game up a little and allowed Portland to find a little more space for their attack. However the execution in the final third was just not good enough and the half ended tied at nil to nil.
Restart-55': The stalemate continued in the early moments of the second half as Chivas still continued to get men behind the ball to grind the game out. Portland came out with a little bit more energy and some wrinkles to their offense. This pushed the ball deeper into Chivas' half before the square and back passes occurred but the ball rarely approached Dan Kennedy's penalty area.
55'-Final Whistle: Around the 56th minute one sub changed the game as Darlington Nagbe came on in place of Nanchoff. It took Nagbe all of 8 minutes to put his stamp on the game. Instead of playing near the touchline like Nanchoff Nagbe played a little more central and received a ball out of the back from Diego Chara. He recieved the ball inbetween the two lines of the Chivas defense and this allowed him time and space to find a streaking Jorge Villafana on the left hand side. Villafana's inch perfect cross to Adi set up the opening goal of the night. It was exactly what was needed to break the high line of Chivas and to get Portland the game winning goal.
Diego Valeri was then subbed on right after the goal and he too made an impact on the game just after his insertion. 4 minutes after to be exact. This time Valeri was the one to find the space between the midfield and the defense and again he made Chivas pay with a perfect through ball to Adi. Adi calmly side stepped Kennedy and then with a bit of luck nutmegged the recovering defender on the shot for his second goal of the game.
- The left sided midfielder needs to reward Villafana more for his efforts to get forward. Nagbe has done so twice in consecutive games and twice it has resulted in a goal.
- First ever two game win streak away from home!
- Adi's second run was filthy and something we haven't see a Timber do in the MLS era.
- I believe the only section that was filled at the StubHub center was the away supporter's section. (A new owner and rebrand can't come soon enough)
- Bring on Vancouver!