In their final home match of the CONCACAF Champions League Group Stage, the Portland Timbers beating Alpha United 6-0, controlling the match and winning in dominant fashion. With goals coming from all through the lineup, the Timbers took the reins early on and held them until the final whistle.
Featuring a completely different lineup from Saturday's 3-0 league win over the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Timbers went with a 4-4-2 diamond formation for the first time this season, employing Danny O'Rourke in a defensive midfield role for the first time with the team and giving chances to a number of young players throughout the night; Jake Gleeson and Taylor Peay were given starts, while George Fochive was brought on as a late substitute for Gaston Fernandez.
The scoring started early in the 11' as the Timbers worked the ball down the left flank through Michael Harrington. Spotting Jack Jewsbury cutting inside, Harrington played a clipped in early cross that bounced nicely in front of Jewsbury. Corralling the ball with a quick touch, Jewsbury had just enough time to get off a quick shot, putting the ball around Ronson Williams, the Alpha United keeper, and into the back of the net.
The flood gates had not yet opened after Jewsbury's goal, but the Timbers continued their control of the match and, in the 36', finally got their second. This time the goal came from the right flank, where Maximiliano Urruti whipped in a low, hard cross that, aided by a slight deflection off a defender's shin, found the feet of Gaston Fernandez. With the in-step of his left foot Fernandez hit the ball first-time, sending it crashing into the back of the net.
From there the Timbers were on cruise control, seeing out the half with a 2-0 lead. As the second half began, the Timbers continued their dominance of the match, taking only four minutes to get on the board again.
Off a corner, Michael Nanchoff played a shot pass to Ben Zemanski (originally spelled "Benz" in this article), who laid the ball back off for Nanchoff at the top of the Alpha United box. Pushing the ball toward the center of the pitch and with plenty of room in which to operate, Nanchoff fired off a hard shot to the back post that left Williams diving, but unable to cover the distance in time.
The Timbers success continued on corner kicks in the 61' as once again it was Nanchoff stepping up to deliver. This time Nanchoff swing an in-curling corner into the center of the box where Norberto Papratto was battling with a pair of defenders for space. With the defenders on his back, Paparatto dove forward and got a head to the dropping ball, sending a bouncing shot past Williams and into the back of the net.
With the match winding down, the Timbers continued their high pressure with a pair of strong attacking subs, Rodney Wallace and Fanendo Adi. In the 75', the pair would combine for the Timbers' fifth goal of the night. Getting the ball outside the Alpha United box, Wallace slipped a simple pass through the defense,m finding the run of Adi into the box. Demonstrating the strength that has garnered him so much praise recently, Adi held off the defender on his back before turning and hammering home his shot from close range.
Finally, with only seconds to go before the start of extra time, the Timbers took advantage of one final corner to make the score 6-0. Again it was Nanchoff sending in the delivery and again it was Paparatto on the end of it; this time with space at the back post. Without a defender on him, Paparatto was able guide the ball home, putting a precise header past Williams and sewing up the 6-0 scoreline.
The win assures that the Timbers will more on in the CCL with a win, tie, or one-goal loss at CD Olimpia next month.