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Portland Timbers Run Out of Gas with 1-0 Loss to Columbus Crew

The Timbers came into their match against the Columbus Crew as the favorites, but were unable to recover after early mistakes put them down a man and down a goal.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers looked sluggish from the start of this afternoon's away match against the Columbus Crew. Bad passes and worse tackles saw the team start things off on the wrong foot, giving up an early corner kick in the 6' that Crew forward Bernardo Anor nodded into the goal with nobody marking him and no real resistance.

Still, the Timbers are no strangers to playing from behind and for the first ten minutes there was still the feeling that the Timbers were about to launch an inevitable comeback. However, in the 11' Pa Modou Kah found himself defending one on one in the Timbers box and, trying to clear a bouncing ball, kicked the Crew's Aaron Schoenfeld in the face (no easy feat as Schoenfeld is 6'4"), earning a red card in the process.

Frederico Higuain pulled the ensuing penalty wide, but the hole dug by giving up a man and a goal was too deep for the Timbers to climb their way out of.

In the second half the Timbers did have moments in which they might have pulled one back. In the 55' Andrew Jean-Baptiste put a strong header just wide off a Diego Valeri corner. In the 77' Jose Adolfo Valencia danced through traffic and dropped the ball to Diego Valeri at the top of the box, but Valeri's shot when over the bar. In the 86', Darlington Nagbe found space outside the box and tried to curl one around Crew keeper Matt Lampson, but Lampson made a diving save to push the ball wide of the net.

In the Timbers last fifteen games they found a way, but this time the magic just was not there.