The Portland Timbers continue this week’s long, difficult road trip with today’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Salvadoran side CD Dragon. The Timbers come into this one banged up and in need of a road result if they want to advance out of their group.
How Do the Timbers Advance?
With their loss to Saprissa two weeks ago, the Timbers find themselves needing a win over the Costa Rican champions if they want to make it to the CCL’s elimination rounds next year. Before taking on that challenge, however, the Timbers will need to get a result against CD Dragon if they want to have any chance of beating Saprissa for the top spot in the group.
A win against Dragon leaves the Timbers in the best possible position heading into the match against Saprissa. The Timbers would still need a win against the Costa Rican side to advance, but three points from tonight’s match and three more against Saprissa would see the Timbers win the group on points, nine to seven. A tie against Saprissa in this instance would see the Timbers lose out on points, with Saprissa advancing seven to eight.
A tie against Dragon makes things more complicated, although the Timbers could still need to win against Saprissa or be eliminated on points in the group. If the Timbers beat Saprissa, however, it would leave both teams tied on points in the group and tied on head to head points and would then go to goal differential, leaving the Timbers in need of at least a two goal win to make up for the two goal loss that they suffered in Costa Rica. If the Timbers can win by more than two goals, they will advance past Saprissa. If the Timbers win by exactly two goals, then head to head away goals is the next tie breaker, meaning that the Timbers would need to hold Saprissa to zero or one goals in the event of a two goal Timbers win.
Watch it on:
Univision Deportes or streaming on Facebook
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m. PT at Estadio Cuscatlán in San Salvador
Portland Timbers: 1-1-0, 3 points
CD Dragon: 0-1-1, 1 point