A crazy, sloppy, pretty rough soccer game ends in a glorious, beautiful two goal win for the Timbers over the New York Red Bulls. It was a very active first half for both sides, but not much was made of it by either team; and if aerial clearances are your aphrodisiac, this was the half for you. Both sides started out in the first two minutes testing the waters, but it soon ramped up and turned into a very hectic, chaotic 45 minutes. Which helped favor the visitors.
Aurelien Collin cleaned out Diego Chara in the 14th minute by sweeping up both of Chara’s legs off the ground. Chara had to be looked at by the trainer but was able to continue after a play referee Allen Chapman didn’t even register. But Collin himself had to come off in the 23rd minute due to injury. It was a strange affair, though. The Red Bulls’ trainer signaled for a substitution and walked Collin off the field, but at the bench Collin wanted to keep playing even as the trainer continued to make the signal for a substitute. There was enough confusion to cause the Red Bulls to delay the restart long enough to earn a yellow card. So Collin actually got his teammate Fidel Escobar a yellow from the confusion he sowed.
The best chance of the first half came for the Timbers in the 39th minute as Darlington Nagbe got a shot off that went over Luis Robles but came off the crossbar instead of going in the net.
The second half started off just like the first ended. A sloppy midfield mess of a battle; tiring just to watch to say the least. However, Diego Valeri broke the deadlock in the 65th minute. After Diego Chara retained the ball off his defender on the right, he crossed into the middle of the box where Valeri was able to cleanly finish first time from near the spot.
The +1 Timbers showed up in the 80th minute when Larrys Mabiala got a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity red card. He didn’t even argue, he just walked right into the locker room. We don’t like to make it easy on ourselves do we?
It took about 4 minutes before the Red Bulls were able to get their free kick taken with the red card and the Timbers using up their last two substitutes. When they were able to take it, they put the free kick out wide for a goal kick. Very shortly after that, Sacha Kljestan put Alvas Powell into the ad boards on the north end but referee Allan Chapman only provided him with a yellow card and a stern talking to.
For the last 5 minutes, plus 5 more of stoppage, it was a heart, stomach, all your organs in your throat eternity for everyone. But as the 5 minutes of stoppage came up, the ball bounced in favor of the Timbers and Valeri added his 51st assist to his 51st goal as he crossed to Mattocks who was able to put an insurance goal at the death into an empty net. Elation and relief swept over the stadium as the final whistle blew.