The Portland Timbers came away with a 2-0 home win over the San Jose Earthquakes in U.S. Open Cup play on Wednesday night. The Timbers ran out a squad featuring a number of depth players captained by Diego Chara; getting goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Dairon Asprilla in a comfortable win.
From the outset, the Timbers controlled the flow of the match, holding possession and working the ball around the pitch in search of an opening while the Earthquakes stuck to their blocks of four, looking to hit out on the counter.
The first real chance of the match came in the eleventh minute as the Timbers switched the pitch in the San Jose half and found Jeremy Ebobisse near the end line. The Timbers forward collected the ball before cutting a sharply angled pass back into the box through the legs of a defender and picking out the run of T2 call-up Marvin Loria near the penalty spot. Loria was able to get off a quick shot that took a slight deflection and bounced up and Earthquakes keeper Andrew Tarbell who reacted quickly, pushing the ball up and over the bar to make the save.
Keeping the pressure on, the Timbers found their break through in the 28th minute, this time capitalizing on a misplayed ball in the San Jose half. After a poorly controlled pass spun away from Quakes midfielder Fatai Alashe, Ebobisse pounced on the ball and drove forcefully toward goal. With little support around him, Ebobisse checked his run before cutting inside, around his defender, and unleashing a curling, left-footed shot that left Tarbell waving at air as it hit the back of the net to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.
Coming out of the locker room after the half, the Quakes looked to make their mark on the match and in the early going were able to get the ball down and press forward in the Timbers half, only to be thwarted by a compact defensive look from the home side.
Although the Timbers would begin to exert some measure of control as the half wore on, the Quakes managed a dangerous chance in the 62nd minute. An early cross into the Timbers box dropped to Tommy Thompson at the back post and the Quakes homegrown player put a strong header on the ball, only for his attempt to flash over the bar.
Moments later, the Quakes were threatening again as a bouncing ball in the Timbers box fell to Quincy Amarikwa and the San Jose forward hit a ball that deflected up and over the goal. On the ensuing corner kick, however, it was the Timbers who would strike, clearing the ball away and finding Diego Chara streaking down the pitch on the break. As he reached the San Jose box, Chara sent a sharply hit pass across the field to Dairon Asprilla, unmarked at the back post. Asprilla took a touch toward goal and looked ready to unload a powerful shot, but instead hit a placed ball just inside the near post to put the Timbers up 2-0.
The second Timbers goal moved the Quakes into desperation mode and gave the Timbers their chance to take control of the match back. Now taking an approach reminiscent of their recent league matches, the Timbers were constantly threatening to break out, while the Quakes had no choice but to go forward.
Chances still came for the Quakes, however, and in the 84th minute, substitute Danny Hoesen was the first to a bouncing ball in the Timbers box. With keeper Kendall McIntosh rushing out at him, Hoesen poked the ball forward with the outside of his boot, only for the ball to go high once again.
Although the chances would continue to come for the Earthquakes, the Timbers were able to ride out the remainder of the match, preserving the shut out as they advanced out of the fourth round.
The Timbers are at home again on Saturday when they will face the Western Conference leading Sporting Kansas City.