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Portland Timbers Take Down LA Galaxy 3-1; VAR Debuts at Providence Park

MLS: Los Angeles Galaxy at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten run to three games with today’s 3-1 home win over the spiraling LA Galaxy. Shaky defending but an overwhelming attacking carried the Timbers past the 9th place Galaxy.

The Timbers got the scoring started early, notching their first goal in just the 5th minute. David Guzman sent a whipped in corner kick toward the run of Roy Miller at the near post, only for the ball to fly just over the head of the Costa Rican full back, bounce in the box, and find the run of returned captain Liam Ridgewell at the back post. With the ball falling right to him, Ridgewell only had to make solid contact with his head to put the ball home in the empty net and give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.

The lead would not last long as the Galaxy struck back just one minute later. After a winning a fifty-fifty ball in the heart of the midfield, Portuguese midfielder Pedro picked out the run of Emmanuel Boateng on the Timbers’ left. Boateng burned past Miller and drove into the box before tucking a side-footed shot past Jake Gleeson for the goal.

It looked like the Galaxy had struck again in the 11th minute as Gyassi Zardes took down a ball in the Timbers box after a corner kick, fought through the scrum, and touched it home. Moments after the goal was whistled, however, referee Drew Fischer signaled for the first use of video review at Providence Park. After conferring with the video assistant referee, Fischer waved the goal off and gave a yellow card to Zardes for taking the ball down with his arm.

The Timbers took back the lead in the 33rd minute and for the 11th time this year it was Diego Valeri who put the ball away. Taking the ball down around a lunging attempted tackle from Jermaine Jones, Valeri was able to touch the ball toward the center of the pitch before unleashing a thunderous strike from distance that swerved just inside the near post.

The Timbers extended their lead in the 53rd minute when Fanendo Adi received the ball inside the LA box then played a beautiful back heel pass into the path of Alvas Powell as the Timbers’ right back made a run into the box. Powell took the ball on the dribble then hammered a tight-angle shot on goal that just picked out the inside of the far post to put the game out of reach.

The Galaxy would push forward for the remainder of the match, looking to get back in the game, but the Timbers held off their charge and the match finished 3-1.

The win leaves the Timbers in 5th place in the Western Conference, behind the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, and Houston Dynamo on goal differential. The side are back in action next Saturday when they head to Canada to take on Toronto FC.