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Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids Recap: Portland falls short again

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Quick Recap:

Portland finally showed some effort and looked like a better team than the previous two games. Despite the effort the quality was lacking around the goal and Colorado got lucky late to take 3 points. 1-0 Portland goes down.

First Half:

Portland looked really shaky in the first two minutes of the game but weathered those initial butterflies to get a dangerous free kick in the 4th minute and a corner off of that set-piece. Already you could see captain Jack Jewsbury make a concerted effort to play in front of Diego Chara filling the gap in between the mids and the forwards that has been lacking in previous games.

More After the Jump

The passing was crisp as Portland really worked the passing lanes which lead in the 8th minute to a beautiful through ball to Nagbe in the corner of the box, unfortunately his outside of the foot shot was right at the goalie. While Portland was pressing the Colorado Rapids looked to absorb the pressure and hit their target forward Conor Casey and get into the attack as quickly as they could. On occasion they looked dangerous but the pass just wasn't there.

Once Colorado was able to gain possession they looked dangerous at times playing through the middle of the park, especially in the 11th minute when a long range shot was struck which Troy Perkins was unable to coral which luckily bounced to Eric Brunner who cleared it away. The second corner resulting from that shot provided a goal scoring opportunity for Colorado that saw the header go just over the bar.  On that same corner Kenny Cooper got hit in the head which drew blood. Cooper came back like a warrior with his head wrapped.

The next scoring opportunity came from the Portland Timbers as Kalif Alhassan dispossessed a Colorado player and immediately went on the attack, since no one closed him down he tried a cheeky chip of the keeper that went just over the bar. In the 30th minute Futty went down with what looked like a separated shoulder which brought in David Horst. Hopefully it is not too serious.

In the 35th minute Jorge Perlaza was put through by a great header from Chara but he just couldn't get the ball out from under his feet and pushed his shot wide. One minute later Colorado put a header on frame, but Perkins was in the right place at the right time and made the save. Portland had another great ball to Perlaza who cut it back to Darlington Nagbe in the box but his shot.

For the next 3 minutes Portland could just not get the ball past midfield. Once they did they were able to put some passes together and win a Corner kick in the 41st minute which was cleared for another corner. Portland had another chance this time with a header on frame from Cooper that the Colorado Goalie was able to save but not able to hold onto and a defender cleared the ball over the end line for a corner.

Stats: Portland with 7 shots and 4 Corners. Colorado with 9 shots and 5 corners.

 

Second Half:

Portland came out of the locker room with energy and that energy translated to a corner which resulted in a nice chance headed just over the bar by Cooper. The next 10 minutes Portland and Colorado went back and forth with no real chances until the 58th minute when Perlaza got a ball with his back to the goal and laid it off to Cooper but the keeper made a nice save to parry the ball past the post.

It was as if that shot energized the crowd and the players as the ball seemed to not leave that end of the field until the 60th minute but not before a long range shot from Chara went just wide of the goal. Again the game went to a back and forth in the middle of the pitch.

Portland again was able to spring Perlaza who got to the ball just before the Keeper but was too wide of the goal. He passed the ball into Cooper but was not able to get the shot off and it was then cleared. Once again the energy and thought were there not the quality.

From the 80th minute on it was as if the Rapids were running a full court press and not allowing Portland any time on the ball. It took a lot of energy to just get the ball up the field. Once they did they were able to get behind the defense with a great cross field ball. Just like in the 86th minute when a beautiful cross found the back post and a wide open Ryan Pore who hit his header wide of the goal.

As the game went on you could sense that one goal was probably all this game was going to produce. It turned out that feeling was correct. Just after John Spencer got thrown out of the game by the fourth official Colorado took a free kick. Apparently Troy Perkins' limit on amazing saves in a row is 2 because he couldn't get the third shot after stopping two shots.

Portland had one last chance as Ryan Pore was on the end of a great cross into the box but once again the ball sailed over the goal.     

Observations:

  • Nagbe started to show the creativity that the Timbers need and he combined really well with Hall and Chara
  • The Service to Perlaza and Cooper to relieve pressure on the defense was ten times better tonight
  • Perlaza needs to put away at least 1 of those breakaways!
  • Cooper played a much better game tonight as a distributor but no one could get him that final ball
  • Effort was there, the thought process was there but once again the quality was lacking in front of the goal.
  • Is it anything to ask for consistency with the Reffing? There were so many plays called foul then not called a foul that the players on both sides were frustrated. (The Timbers did not lose this game cause of the Ref, just want to let you know)
Your thoughts?