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Portland Timbers Boost Their Playoff Hopes

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Quick Recap:

The Portland Timbers played a great tactical game and got the early goal from a brilliant strike from Kenny Cooper. The Vancouver Whitecaps tried to make a game of it but looks like they decided they might as well go for the Wooden Spoon. Portland wins 1-0.

First Half:

Portland really came out looking good despite missing their captain and one of their dynamic play makers. The flow to the game was very heavily in Portland's favor for the first 10 minutes of the game as the Timbers kept a majority of the possession and seemed to try and take the sting out of the adrenaline rush that Vancouver might have. After that Portland seemed to sit back and invite Vancouver to pass the ball around in the middle third of the field and wait for them to make a bad pass.

Portland did get a few counters but were not able to get a decent chance on goal. To help with the Counter Darlington Nagbe pushed up more and at times looked like a third forward. Despite the lack of chances Portland continued to look like the more dangerous team in the final third and the proved it in the 25th minute. Portland defended a Vancouver set piece and when Vancouver tried to pass the ball back into a dangerous position Diego Chara easily picked it off. 

The counter was on as Cooper, Jorge Perlaza and Sal Zizzo Joined in on the attack as Chara pushed the ball quickly up the field. The quick counter confused the three remaining Whitecaps defenders as they were more concerned about the ball and the streaking Perlaza and Zizzo. All the while Cooper was drifting out wide and was wide open. Chara slowed up just enough to let all the defenders get sucked in and hit a great cross field ball that found Cooper. Cooper brought the ball down with his chest and let it bounce once before hitting a half volley over a sprawling Joe Cannon. A true Goalazo from Kenny "Freaking" Cooper (by the way his middle name is Fitzgerald). 

After that goal the air really came out of BS Place and Portland passed the ball around the park with ease. However without getting the second goal Vancouver slowly started to regain confidence but did not even sniff the goal and Portland went into the half up 1-0.

Second Half:

Portland came out flat and didn't seem to have the energy that they possessed in the first half and it almost cost them early but Eric Brunner and Futty Danso were more than a match for Eric Hassli and the Whitecaps attack. The Whitecaps were repeatedly beating Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala on the wings but Portland's CB's were able to deal with any cross that actually did make it in front of goal. 

Despite the slow start Portland really limited the Whitecaps chances and left Troy Perkins with little to do. Portland did have their chances in the second half and Cooper had a shot saved by Cannon. In the end the second goal wasn't needed because Vancouver only managed 2 shots on goal all game. Perkins did get his 9th Shutout for a new career high. 

Overall the second half was not as exciting as Portland really killed the game off and stuck 10 men behind the ball. It was effective as Vancouver was just not up to the task and couldn't break Portland down.

Obersvations:

  • Cooper has now 3 goals in the last 4 games. Great time for him to start clicking
  • James Marcelin was great today and really disrupted a lot
  • Chara is amazing and his vision won us the game.
  • Tied for 10th! 
  • BC Place looks amazing