The Portland Timbers fought a pitched battle against the LA Galaxy tonight, winning 2-1 thanks to an Andrew Jean-Baptiste header at the death. In the final minute of stoppage time, second-half sub Jose Adolfo Valencia ran down a hoofed ball as it was rolling over the end line, winning an improbable corner off A.J. DeLaGarza. Diego Valeri's corner was floated into the box and out of the crush of bodies thrown at the ball, AJB get a head to it, burying the final chance of the game in the back of the net.
The lead up to the final moments was fraught with chances for both teams, and the scoring started early with a Galaxy goal in the seventeenth minute as Hector Jiminez found an unmarked Marcelo Sarvas in the Timbers box for a free header. Sarvas buried the chance and put the Timbers on the back foot from the start.
It was not long before the Timbers would get back in the game, however, as the Timbers made use of a quick free kick to open the Galaxy up only ten minutes later. As the Galaxy tried to compose themselves after giving up a free kick on their flank, Diego Valeri slipped a quick ball to Darlington Nagbe running into the box. As Carlo Cudicini rushed out to shut him down, Nagbe played the ball across the goal to a wide open Ryan Johnson who only had to tap the ball into an open net to tie the game.
In between the goals, the action was marked by physical play with referee Baldomero Toledo calling thirty fouls on the night and handing out seven yellow cards, of which six were for dissent. The Timbers and Galaxy each had their chances on the night as both sides amassed over 400 passes.
The win is a huge victory for the Timbers as they move back into second place in the west and put some space between themselves and the rapidly rising Galaxy. More importantly, however, the Timbers gutted out a win over strong opposition after faltering against the Columbus Crew last weekend.