The Timbers had plenty of nervous moments, especially as both starting centerbacks went off injured tonight. And a goal of the year candidate from Valeri was called off. But Adi ended his scoring drought in dazzling fashion, putting the Timbers 3 points farther up the board with his usual double dose of goals placed neatly into the back of the net.
It started off well enough with the Timbers seeing most of the ball in the early minutes. In the 5th minute Adi tried to open the scoring with a cracker of a shot from 25 yards out. Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez was forced to tip it over the bar.
Dallas started to get dangerous in the middle of the first half. Their best chance came in the 21st minute. Ridgewell tried to pass the ball out of the back and it deflected off and into the path of Dallas. With both teams scrambling in the box Zarek Valentin was able to keep the ball out of the net with a sliding clearance off the line.
It was already a test of depth heading into the match but that went a step farther in the 26th minute when Ridgewell went straight from the north end to the locker room following an injury. Amobi Okugo subbed on in his place, moving Lawrence Olum into the centerback position with Okugo slotting into defensive midfield.
But it would be the home side who opened scoring. Fanendo Adi ended his drought after Sebastian Blanco (who had himself a very good first half) slotted him into the box. Adi fought off his defender was able to slide the ball into the back of the net in the 33rd minute.
The back line depth would be tested again as Miller took a knock from Urruti in the 43rd minute. He tried walking it off but sat down in the 45th minute. And for the rest of the first half really looked hobbled. But when the team returned to the field for the second half, Miller was still there.
He only lasted another 15 minutes though as he finally subbed off in the 60th minute with Zemanski replacing him. Starting the game with Ridgewell and Miller in central defense, the Timbers were now with Olum and Okugo in central defense.
There were a lot of nerves in the second half until Diego Valeri chipped the ball to himself in the 70th minute and scored. Unfortunately it hit his hand as he chipped it over and Chris Penso had to call (what was a goal of the year candidate) the goal back. But the soccer gods were angry that such a stunning beauty of a goal would go in but not count. And so Adi marked the end of his drought with his trademark brace.
In the 72nd minute Adi got his second goal of the evening and fired up the crowd as loud as ever. At this point, with the nerves gone and the Timbers flying, it was an energetic finish to the match as Adi tried once or twice to get that elusive hat trick.
The makeshift back line of Amobi Okugo and Lawrence Olum were able to see out the rest of the match and secure a second consecutive shut out at home for the Timbers. So even though the game ended 2-0 on the scoreboard, we all know it ended 3-0 in our hearts.