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Portland Timbers burn Dallas

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Quick Recap

Portland Timbers turn the table on the opposition again gets a goal in the first 15 minutes. They continue their offensive streak with 2 more goals before FC Dallas decided they had had enough and changed formation to actually be dangerous in the final third. Portland hangs on in a nail bitter late to come out of this home stand with 6 points vaulting them to 4th place in the standings.

First Half

Portland came out with a lot less energy compared to Thursday night's game, which is understandable considering the different circumstances and that this is the second game in 4 days. Dallas tried to take advantage in the first those minutes but couldn't quite crack the Portland defense. Portland did have their moments like in the 10th minute when a Corner went through Jake Gleeson's hands and bounced in the box before being knocked out for a Goal kick. the play seemed to awaken Portland as they looked to attack on the counter.

More after the jump.

Two minutes later after a counter set up a free kick Jack Jewsbury found Kalif Alhassan in the corner and after his first attempt to cross was blocked he gathered the ball and slotted a great ball to an on coming Jewsbury. Jewsbury neatly collected the ball and hit a scorcher near post. The ball bounced off the post and into Kevin Hartman's back and then into the goal. Dallas looked to control the ball even more after the goal and attacked down the left going through Brek Shea and Fabian Castillo. Purdy seemed a little troubled by Castillo's speed and once or twice let him by him, luckily Brunner or Futty were always there to clean up the situation.

In the 27th minute and again in the 30 minute Dallas looked dangerous but the two centerbacks again bailed Portland out. The game turned into a series of half chances as neither team came close to being dangerous. Porltand seemed content to let Dallas have possession in their half and then close them down as they tried to attack with Jewsbury and James Marcelin effectively marking reigning MLS MVP David Ferriera out of the game. Portland again scored, in the 35 minute, on a set piece, this time on a corner, as Jewsbury found Cooper on the near post who heads it to the back post for the second goal of the game.

From the second goal on Portland looked like they were just trying to get into the locker room and allowed Dallas a lot of time on the ball. This lead to a chance in the 37th minute but Dallas put the header wide of the goal. Portland allowed Dallas so much possession Cooper took to tracking back to help on the defense and snuffed out a dangerous attack in the 43rd minute. Finally the whistle blew for half time. Another solid first half for the Timbers, a great turn around from the previous first 3 games.    

Second Half

Dallas really came out looking to get one goal back as early as they could and pushed the attack. This allowed Portland to sit back and look for the counter. This tactic almost paid off in the 47th minute with a great ball sprung Steve Purdy down the right side. Purdy crossed the ball in and Perlaza caused his defender to put the ball into the back the net. However the linesman raised his flag as Perlaza was ruled Offsides, which the replays confirmed.

The game settled down for the next ten minutes as possession stayed mostly with Dallas. Portland struck again in the 57th minute. After getting the ball deep in the offensive third Cooper lost the ball at the top left corner of the box and the ball squirted out to Alhassan. Alhassan settled the ball and dribbled through 3 Dallas defenders and around two more before Rodney Wallace took over and slotted the ball home near post past a diving Kevin Hartman.

For the second straight match Portland went up 3-0 only to see the opposition get 2 back. Dallas really amped the pressure up by making a formation change by going from a 4-4-2 to a 3-4-3. This change paid dividends as Portland's centerbacks were almost overwhelmed trying to deal with Ferreria.  Ferreria came through for Dallas by putting Brek Shea through and scoring one himself in the 83rd and 85th minutes.

The last 5 minutes of regulation and the 3 minutes of stoppage time caused an attack on the intestinal fortitude of John Spencer. Attack after attack were repelled by a frenetic Portland Defense. Even Kevin Hartman got in on the attack coming up twice for corners.

The play of the game was Dallas' last dangerous scoring opportunity. A corner went far post headed around before falling to a Dallas player who played the ball across to Ferreira who had trapped the ball and immediately hit a half volley towards the goal. Jake Gleeson dove to his right and just got a hand on it deflecting the ball up and off of the crossbar. Portland had to suffer through one more corner before the ball when over for a goal kick and the ref called the game once the ball was put back into play.

Observations:

  • Jeremy Hall has gotten stronger and stronger on the ball since the first game.
  • Purdy had some trouble with Fabian Castillo and his speed but in general worked tirelessly on the wing
  • Zizzo has tons of speed and really wants to attack but sometimes he needs to slow and show some composure to be more dangerous.
  • Spencer used the same substitutions as Thursday, which my only question is, Why no defensive substitutions? The subs seemed all offensive minded.
  • Gleeson has great hands and doesn't give up rebounds.
  • Alhassan was Man of the Match

I will have 2 videos of John Spencer's post game interview as soon as the upload

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