The Portland Timbers once again could not come back from an early concession, losing 1-0 to Toronto FC despite a lights out game from Adam Kwarasey. Equally devestating as the early goal form Toronto was the injury to Diego Valeri that forced the Maestro to come out of the match early on.
Toronto struck first and they struck early in the 8th minute. Moments after a close-in shot from Diego Valeri was denied at the other end of the pitch, Sebasitan Giovinco received the ball in space 25 yards from the Timbers goal and, with no defender closing him down, uncorked a swerving, dipping shot that Adam Kwarasey could only fan at as he dove for it.
Now down a goal, the Timbers' misfortune continued as Valeri was forced to come out of the match in the 25th minute with a rolled ankle. Despite coming back on the pitch for a brief moment after going down initially, Valeri was forced to come off minutes later, bringing on Gaston Fernandez to man the center of the attack.
While the Timbers reeled form yet another injury suffered in Toronto, site of Will Johnson's broken leg last season, Toronto pressed their advantage, racking up eight shots in the half to the Timbers' two. With "La Gata" Fernandez directing traffic, the Timbers did manage one chance near the goal, a bouncing header from Fanendo Adi that was both well covered by Chris Konopka and going wide of the near post.
The second half saw the Timbers get into the match, pushing forward hard in search of an equalizer. Still, the packed in defense and dangerous counters of the home side kept the Timbers at bay.
While keeper Adam Kwarasey was kept busy early on as he made two saves in the first half, the second half saw him facing off against close in shots from Toronto on the break. A series of three saves in the 68th, 80th, and 88th minutes kept hope alive for the Timbers, but to no avail.
The Timbers' felt they should have had a penalty called in their favor late in the match as Maximiliano Urruti was clipped in the box by Konopka, but referee Jorge Gonzalez did not blow his whistle.
Despite a flurry of chances in the second half when the Timbers took nine of their eleven shots, nothing would fall for the away side before Gonzalez blew the final whistle.
The Timbers return home to face Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United on Wednesday. The loss leaves the Timbers in danger of falling into last place in the West if the Colorado Rapids can beat the Vancouver Whitecaps this weekend.