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Portland Timbers definitively claim bottom spot with 3-0 loss to San Jose Earthquakes

MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers left no doubt about who are the worst team in the Western Conference with today’s comprehensive, 3-0 loss to the formerly winless and pointless San Jose Earthquakes.

In the 15th minute San Jose opened the scoring, notching their third goal of the 2019 season. After Christian Espinoza got on the ball wide on the wing, fought his way past Jorge Villafana, and carried the ball to the end line, the Quakes winger cut a simple ball into the center of the box. As the low cross rolled through the Timbers’ defense, it found far-side winger Shea Salinas cutting inside for an open-goal finish that the veteran put away without issue.

The Quakes came close again in the 24th minute when Quakes forward Danny Hoesen made a scything run through the Timbers back line and into the box where he ran on to a well weighted through ball from midfielder Jackson Yueill. Hoesen snapped off a quick shot only to be closed down by Jeff Attinella and have the ball blocked away for a corner kick. The home side nearly made the restart count when Florian Jungworth powered a strong header on goal, but again Attinella came up big and touched the ball up and over the bar.

Chances continued to come for the Earthquakes and in the 33rd minute they were again able to capitalize. After a cross into the box found the feet of Hoesen with his back to goal, the forward flicked the ball on to Magnus Eriksson, who touched it around a lunging tackle from Villafana before taking a low, no-angle shot on goal that Attinella was able to put a touch to. The rebound would dribble across the face of goal and fall to Hoesen, lurking at the back post, for a point-blank finish over a sliding attempt at a block from Larrys Mabiala.

With the Timbers reeling from going down 2-0, the Quakes kept the pressure on and were able to quickly grab a third just seventy short second later. Intercepting a poor pass from Diego Valeri off the restart, Espinoza drove forward down the Timbers’ left before unleashing a powerful shot that left Attinella waving at empty air as it rippled into the back of the net.

In the 55th minute it looked — briefly — like the Timbers would have a chance to work their way back into the match. After Sebastian Blanco got on the ball on the edge of the penalty box, the Argentine took a shot into traffic only to see it blocked away. The rebound fell back to Blanco and again he let rip with a shot, this one a cracking volley that looked destined to test Quakes keeper Daniel Vega, only for it to smack off the outstretched arm of center back Harold Cummings, prompting referee Drew Fischer to point to the spot.

As he has done so many times before, Diego Valeri stepped up to the penalty spot and took his shot low and down the middle, only for Vega to drag his back foot and block the ball up and into the air to preserve the 3-0 scoreline.

In the 72nd minute the Quakes appeared to extend their lead to 4-0 when substitute Nick Lima received the ball on the edge of the Timbers’ box before hammering home a high, near post shot that gave Attinella no chance at the save. As San Jose celebrated, however, Fischer reviewed the build up to goal and ultimately called it back for an offside offense in the build up, sparing the Timbers further indignity.

Finally, after six fraught minutes of stoppage time, the final whistle sounded and put an end to the Timbers’ fourth loss and second shutout loss of the young season. The Timbers continue their road trip next weekend when they head to Texas to take on fifth place FC Dallas on Saturday, April 13th.