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Portland Timbers Take Control in 3-0 Win Over Orlando City SC

MLS: Orlando City SC at Portland Timbers Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers posted a convincing 3-0 win over an Orlando City SC side that finished the match with just nine men on the pitch. An appearance from newly signed keeper Derrick Tellez and a Diego Valeri brace were the highlights of the night as the Timbers reclaimed second place in the Western Conference.

The Timbers started the match off on the right foot, getting their opponents under pressure, pushing up the pitch, and launching quick, incisive breaks after winning the ball.

That strong start paid off in the 15th minute as Diego Chara sent a through ball down the left flank for a curving run from forward Darren Mattocks. Turning on the jets, Mattocks fought his way around Lions defender Jonathan Spector only for an errant tackle from the Orlando City man to take him down in the box. Referee Baldomero Toledo initially waved play on, but his decision was quickly reversed with the help of the video assistant referee, awarding a yellow card to Spector and a penalty kick to the Timbers. It was Valeri who stepped up to the spot and the Timber’s all-time leading scorer buried his attempt, catching Orlando keeper and former Timber Joe Bendik leaning the wrong way.

The Timbers continued to generate chances after Valeri’s strike and in the 29th minute, they struck once more. Again, it was Diego Chara starting the move after turning over the Lions in the midfield; this time sending Dairon Asprilla on the run down the right. Asprilla’s well-timed run put him in behind the Orlando back line and gave him plenty of room to slip a well-placed ball into the box just out of Bendik’s reach. As the ball rolled past the Orlando keeper’s glove, Mattock’s was able to get his boot on it, sliding in to touch the ball home at the back post.

Things went from bad to worse for the visitors early in the second half as Spector went in hard on Valeri from behind in the 49th minute. The foul was an easy yellow for Toledo to give and this time he showed no hesitation, giving Spector his second of the evening and putting the Timbers up a man.

After a brief push from Orlando City, the man advantage tilted the field in the Timbers’ favor and in the 59th minute they scored their third goal of the match. A quick pass from Sebastian Blanco through the heart of the defense set Darren Mattocks in on goal and the striker was able to get off a chipped shot only for Bendik to close him down and swat it away with one big paw. Orlando was not out of the woods yet, however, as Valeri was the first to the rebound as it bounced toward the post and tapped it home to give the Timbers a 3-0 lead. The goal extended all three of Valeri’s record marks, leaving the Maestro on 20 goals for the season, 57 goals all time with the Timbers, and brought his scoring streak to ten total goals in nine consecutive matches.

Things went from worse to just unbelievable for the visitors in the 84th minute as substitute Victor Pagliari Giro received marching orders of his own following an elbow to the face of Chara during an Orlando free kick. Despite the Lions’ protestations, Toledo did not hesitate to point to the showers. The Timbers would see out the match playing eleven on nine against a thoroughly demoralized Orlando side.

The Timbers are back in action on Saturday when they travel to California and take on the San Jose Earthquakes in their final road match of the regular season.