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Portland Timbers Take Care of Business with 3-2 Win Over the Montreal Impact

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The Timbers beat the Impact thanks to goals from Urruti, Johnson, and Valeri.

Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers pulled out their second come-from-behind win in a row today as they beat the Montreal Impact 3-2 on the road.

Despite the Timbers' total control of the ball, it was the Impact who struck first, finding the back of the net in the 13'. After a Timbers turnover in the midfield, Montreal got the ball to Justin Mapp out wide on the right flank. With the Timbers defense in full retreat and two forwards in the center of the pitch, Mapp sent in a low, rolling cross to Andres Romero at the top of the Timbers' box.

With the ball coming to his feet, Romero cut back toward the outside of the field, wrong footing Danny O'Rourke and creating acres of space in which to operate. With no defensive pressure on him, Romero lined up his shot and let rip, firing the ball past Donovan Ricketts at the near post to put the Impact up 1-0.

The Timbers did not stay down for long, however, fighting their way back into the game in the 34'. Making the most of their advantage in possession, the Timbers worked the ball down the pitch, finding Darlington Nagbe out on the left wing. Driving into the center of the pitch, Nagbe seemed to have the ball glued to his feet as he evaded a swarm of Impact defenders before slipping a simple ball in behind the Montreal back line and to the feet of Maximiliano Urruti.

With the defense collapsing on him and keeper Evan Bush rushing out of his goal, Urruti got off a quick shot with the outside of his left foot. Urruti's hard shot slammed into the post and for a moment brought to mind the Timbers' many close calls with the post this season, but this time luck was on the Timbers side as the ball rolled across the line and pulled the Timbers back even with Montreal.

Only six minutes later, in the 40', the Timbers found themselves on top. With the pressure through possession continuing, the Timbers worked the ball into the Montreal box. passing the ball around and looking for a shot. AS they moved the ball, the Timbers pulled Bush off his line and the ball fell to Valeri to the left of goal, cutting back to try for a slotted ball through a wall of defense. As he did, however, Valeri's legs were taken out by an errant sliding tackle from Hassoun Camara, giving referee Silvio Petrescu no choice but to point to the spot.

Stepping up to the occasion was Will Johnson. No stranger to the pressure of the penalty kick, Johnson was composed on the spot, driving a low shot into the corner of the net just past the fingertip's of the diving Bush.

It looked like the game's momentum had started to shift in favor of the Timbers as they maintained their high rate of possession going into the half, but before the whistle could be blown disaster struck. In the 44' the Impact launched another quick counter attack down the pitch that left the Timbers scrambling to recover.

As Patrice Bernier carried the ball toward the Timbers left flank, he saw Maxim Tissot cutting inside and dropped a well placed pass toward the center of the pitch for the local product. With the ball at his feet, Tissot got off a quick, low shot that skimmed past Donovan Ricketts, who could not hit the ground fast enough to get a paw on it. The whole move took only seconds, but like that the Impact were back on level terms going in to halftime.

The second half saw the game start to open up as both sides found themselves hunting for a goal. The Impact, after hunkering down for the majority of the first half, began to push players forward, getting their fullbacks involved and taking the game to the Timbers, while the Timbers looked to play quicker on the break, slicing Montreal open rather than breaking them down.

It was on just such a break that the Timbers grabbed the game winner in the 82'. Rodney Wallace, a late substitute for the Timbers, was picked out breaking down the left flank and carried the ball through Impact territory before cutting an angled cross back toward the top of the box. On hand to knock the ball away was Futty Danso, getting a glancing foot to the ball that could not clear, only drop the ball back to Diego Valeri, who was lurking at the top of the box.

As the ball bounced to him Valeri clearly only had one thing on his mind, striking the ball with his first touch and sending a curling, serving ball at the near post. Bush, recovering his positioning from the cross moments before, dove for the ball and got a hand to it, but could not steer Valeri's shot wide, only succeeding in pushing the ball into the side netting after it had crossed the line.

With the score at 3-2, the Timbers did well to put the game away despite several scrambles as Montreal desperately threw men forward to find the equalizer that could keep their season from complete ruination. It was not to come, however, and the final whistle blew, giving the Timbers all three points for just the sixth time this season.