The Portland Timbers came from behind to grab their second home win of the season from the Colorado Rapids in this Friday night thriller. Featuring a pair of goals from the Timbers' Argentine contingent and the debut of new defender Liam Ridgewell, the match saw an energized Timbers side take the game to their opponents and break them down late in the second half.
The Rapids broke through in the 16' as Ridgewell's unfamiliarity with his back line came back to bite the Timbers. In a moment of miscommunication between Ridgewell and Danny O'Rourke, the Timbers turned the ball over deep in their own half and, a quick pass later, found Deshorn Brown in on goal with Donovan Ricketts. Brown, with the ball bouncing in front of him, fired off a hard shot at the near post, but Ricketts was its equal, diving low and pushing the ball out for a corner.
Off the reset, Powers swung in a ball to the top of the keeper's box to an unmarked Drew Moor, who flicked a header on goal. Ricketts was again on hand to make the save, but with the ball bouncing at his feet, was unable to clear it away. A churn of bodies saw the ball pinging around the box and falling to Brown, who once again fired on goal. His shot was deflected by Ricketts and Fanendo Adi, but spun over the line for a moment before Diego Valeri flicked it back out. Referee Ismail Elfath was on hand, however, and whistled for the goal, giving the Rapids the 1-0 lead in the early going.
From there it looked likely to be another frustraiting slog for the Timbers as they tried to break down a packed in defense. However, a big change for the Timbers came in the 61' as the team brought on the pair of Gaston Fernandez and Maximiliano Urruti for Steve Zakuani and Fanendo Adi. The change in personnel also signaled a change in tactics as the Timbers moved from a direct style relying on the one on one abilities of their attacking players to an attack based around quick, incisive passes to pull the defense out of position and open them up. It worked.
With Fernandez acting as the team's outlet and the rest of the attack flowing forward around him, the Timbers pushed forward and in the 72', only eleven minutes after making their subs, the Timbers tied the game up with a decisive finish following a series of passes that involved ten Timbers and took the ball from Ricketts' box to the back of the Colorado net.
Starting with a throw from Ricketts, the Timbers worked the ball down the left flank, sending it from Ricketts to Ridgewell to Chara to Fernandez to Chara to Harrington to Fernandez to Valeri to Nagbe who cut the ball to Johnson in the center of the pitch.
Picking his head up, Johnson found Jack Jewsbury making a run down the right wing with a pinpoint pass through traffic. With the ball at the end line, Jewsbury played a sharp, simple pass into the center of the box, directly to the foot of Urruti who hit the ball with his first touch, putting it over Rapids keeper Clint Irwin and into the back of the net to even up the score.
Although the Timbers had not won a game that they trailed at the half since joining MLS, the scoring was not yet over at Providence Park. In the 77' the Timbers found Diego Chara in the midfield where he snapped off a quick pass to Diego Valeri in space 25 yards from goal. Taking a quick touch forward into space, Valeri crushed the ball, firing it on goal. The right-footed shot curled just out of Irwin's reach, tucking inside the right post and putting the Timbers up 2-1, where the score would stay until the final whistle.