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Recap: Portland rides the Colombia express to a win

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Quick recap: 

The Portland Timbers pull a switch with the Vancouver Whitecaps and score early and I mean early. 2-0 at Half. The second half is a test of will as the tired legs kick in but Portland holds them off and gets the win 2-1.

First Half:

So I was sitting in the press box just getting settled in and look up and Diego Chara has the ball in the box. I start to think to myself "Tha......." and that is as far as I got as Chara scores the quickest Portland goal this year. Literally 72 seconds into the game. The play started from a Vancouver throw-in that went into the middle of the field and Kenny Cooper tracked back and won the ball. The ball immediately fell to Captain Jack Jewsbury who quickly passed it to Jorge Perlaza. Perlaza hit a great centering ball to an onrushing Chara who hit it by the defender and hit a beautiful shot into the goal. 

For the next 5 minutes Portland kept up the pressure but did not get any chance on goal. After those 5 minutes Vancouver seemed to settle down and started to gain possession and mount the attack through Eric Hassli. The possession was so lopsided it felt as if Portland was going to give the goal back but Portland bent but never broke. 

The mental fortitude the Timbers showed paid off in the 33rd minute as the Timbers won a free kick deep in the Vancouver half of the field. On the Captain Jack free kick the ball came off a Whitecap defender and bounced in the box. The first person to the ball was Perlaza who just got a toe on it and was able to get it into the back of the net.

The last 10 minutes of the half saw Vancouver win multiple corners and free kicks deep in the Timbers' half but luckily no chances came even close to testing Troy Perkins.

Second Half:

The Tired legs showed in the second half from the very beginning as the Whitecaps came out with the majority of possession and forced Portland to chase the ball. Despite the possession the Whitecaps failed to show anything in the final third. There was no dangerous chances and nothing that even bothered Perkins.

Really the game devolved into a chippy game with the the ref not calling a lot and when he did make a call no one agreed with it. I mean know one, neither side was happy with the Ref. Despite all the possession advantage Portland almost struck the back of the net as Vancouver turned the ball over deep in their half to Chara. Chara hit a great square ball to Kalif Alhassan who only had the keeper to beat. What does the man who has the most shots in the MLS without a goal do? Well, he hits the post and it bounces out for a throw in. Yes a throw in, that is how far it bounced off the post.

After that chance Portland had very little in way of attack and were just looking to see the game out. They almost got away with a clean sheet but Vancouver did get one back in the 88th minute. The goal was only a consolation goal as Portland did kill the game off and got the home win it needed.

Observations:

  • Best game for Chara this year. He was a little water bug and was every where. 
  • This was a game of will not a game that show cased much skill and the Timbers showed a lot of heart
  • Personally I thought Cooper had a decent game, still not what we want to see but he helped out a lot on defense and help create the first goal
  • Too bad about Futty and his hamstring
  • 3 points out of a play-off spot.
The next two games are huge and now it is make it or break it time.