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Portland Timbers Fall Apart in Honduras; Lose 3-1 to CD Olimpia

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The Timbers are out of the CCL after a bad loss to their group rivals.

We don't have any images from today's match, so here is Kevin Alvarez farting a soccer ball.
We don't have any images from today's match, so here is Kevin Alvarez farting a soccer ball.
Steve Dykes-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers went to Honduras with hopes of returning to the US with a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League Semi-Finals secured. Instead things fell apart in the first five minutes of the match and the Timbers never quite recovered, losing to CD Olimpia 3-1 and getting eliminated from the CCL in the process.

In the opening minutes of the match the Timbers were badly out of sorts and Olimpia jumped all over them, taking advantage of the visitors' slow start.

The first goal came in the 2' and immediately set the tone for the rest of the game. As the ball bounced just outside the Timbers' box, Michael Harrington bodied up forward Romell Quioto, leaning over him to get a slight header on the ball.

With the defender draped all over him and his back to goal, Quioto hit a quick chip, that arched over himself, the Timbers' back line, and Jake Gleeson, before just kissing the underside of the crossbar on its way into the goal.

Attempting to gather themselves, the Timbers restarted play but still could not control the ball. Giving up possession quickly, the Timbers found themselves scrambling to defend in the 4'. Olimpia quickly pushed the ball down the pitch, smelling the blood in the watch, and got it to Omar Guerra running down the Timbers' right channel.

With Nortberto Paparatto closing him down, Guerra played a perfectly placed ball into the center of the pitch, just outside the reach of Gleeson and just beyond the diving toe of Liam Ridgewell in the center of the pitch. Running off Ridgewell's back shoulder, however, was Anthony Colon, perfectly placed to blast the ball home and put Olimpia in position to advance out of the group.

With the score now 2-0, 4-4 on aggregate and Olimpia holding two away goals for the lead, the Timbers finally managed to calm down and complete a pass. In need of a goal, however, the Timbers now found themselves chasing the game and necessarily leaving themselves open at the back.

The remainder of the half seemed to be a series of narrowly avoided disasters as the Timbers threw themselves forward in search of a goal.

The second half started off in much the same vein, but with a key addition for the Timbers: Diego Valeri had been inserted into the lineup. The Maestro made an immediate impact for the Timbers, who now looked like a team capable of playing together. The Timbers even started to hold some of the possession with Valeri now pulling the strings and injecting some energy into the proceedings for the team.

In the 52', the Timbers finally mounted a coherent attack against the organized defense of Olimpia. The Timbers kept the pressure on, looking for a gap to exploit, but there was none forthcoming.

Finally, as the ball was knocked out of the Olimpia box, Ben Zemanski stepped up to the ball 25 yards from goal and hit a hard, speculative shot. Seemingly on a rope, the ball stayed level as it flew toward the box, only to suddenly take a turn to the side as it skimmed off the back of a defender.

Luck, for the first time on the day, was with the Timbers. The deflection wrong footed Olimpia keeper Donis Escobar, who could only tumble to the ground as the ball bounced around him and into the back of the net. The Timbers were now back on top, having taken the aggregate lead.

Two minutes later, in the 54', the Timbers were once again trailing. Again Olimpia broke quickly down the pitch, but this time it was a direct ball out of the midfield from Quioto that found the diving foot of Lozano. Getting just the slightest touch on the ball, Lozano knocked it back around Gleeson, who was already going down to block the ball away, and into the back of the net to give Olimpia the 3-1 lead.

Once again the Timbers found themselves chasing the lead, but this time there would be no miracle strike from Ben Zemanski to put them back in front. A single goal would give the Timbers the overall lead, but none was forthcoming, even with the inclusion of Darlington Nagbe and Fanendo Adi in the 71'.

With time grinding down, the game became increasingly contentious with yellow cards aplenty on offer to the Timbers. By the time the final whistle was blown the Timbers had accumulated seven yellows and purged themselves of any desire to ever return to Honduras.