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Portland Timbers Beat Toronto FC, Baldomero Toledo 2-1

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Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers gutted out a 2-1 win at Providence Park today against a strong Toronto FC side, overcoming a tying goal and some baffling refereeing in the contentious match.

The Timbers opened the scoring early, getting on the board int he 17th minute. After working the ball down the pitch, the home side were able to keep Toronto under pressure for an extended period, working the ball around the outside of the box. Finally, after several forays toward goal, Darren Mattocks found himself on the ball at the top of the arch. Coolly the Timbers' winger send a quick through ball to Diego Valeri, cutting through the Toronto back line. From there it was a simple square ball across the face of goal to Fanendo Adi to finish off the move with a simple, side footed finish.

Toronto would strike back, however, tying the match up in the 40th minute. Naturally the move started with Sebastian Giovinco as the reigning MVP get the ball down at the top of the Timbers box before being mugged by Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe. The ball bounced away from the trio and fell to former Timbers captain Will Johnson. With nobody on him, Johnson was able to slot home a cool finish just past the dive of Jake Gleeson in goal.

The goal would be a controversial one, however, with complaints coming on several fronts. Earlier in the match, Johnson was involved with an incident with Valeri, sliding into the Timbers No. 8 with his studs up in a move that did not even draw a whistle from referee Baldomero Toledo, but will surely draw a suspension from the MLS Disciplinary committee later this week. Moments before the goal, however, there was another infraction that had the Timbers up in arms: a bouncing ball in the Toronto box was clearly hit by the arm of Red defender Justin Morrow. As the Timbers asked for the hand ball to be called, Toronto broke down the pitch, starting the move that would become the equalizer.

As the second half began, the Timbers found themselves under siege from Toronto, with the visitors holding the ball in the attacking half and generating chance after chance. Keeping the Timbers in the game was Gleeson, making a pair of outstanding saves in the 51st and 63rd minutes. First Gleeson managed to turn a point blank Drew Moor header into the bar with a slight kick save, then again he faces a point blank header, this time from Jozy Altidore, that he pushed away from goal.

The tie would not stand as the Timbers broke out of Toronto's pressure in the 75th minute, earning a free kick 25 yards from goal as Michael Bradley took down Valeri. It was Valeri who would step up to the ball and, with a five man wall in front of him, curled a beautiful shot on goal that Irwin could only swipe at before it rippled the back of the net.

The Timbers play again next Saturday, heading up to B.C. to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps.