On the back of a pair of phenomenal goals from Jeremy Ebobisse and Diego Valeri, the Timbers took six points from a possible six and now stand alone at the top of Group F. The main talking point of the night would be Ebobisse’s first half finish after a defense-splitting pass from Sebastian Blanco. In the 35th minute a Portland counter-attack led to Ebobisse being free down the left. His first touch took him inside the box but at a very wide angle. But the connection Ebobisse made with the ball couldn’t possibly have been any cleaner and it flew past the keeper low to the far post. A quite special finish from a player continuing to grow and mature into an elite MLS striker every day.
But another extremely bright spot from the game would be the performance of Eryk Williamson starting in midfield next to Chara. The Timbers product was energetic and confident in possession. Before leaving the field in the 69th minute, he he completed 31, took one shot, created 3 chances and provided the assist for the second goal in the 61st minute. Seeming to have beaten out Christhian Paredes for the starting spot in the second game of the tournament, Williamson may have matured into a consistent option in midfield.
Speaking of the second goal, it was Diego Valeri operating on the top of the box like the expert that he is. Williamson peeled off the holding midfielder of the Dynamo and made a smart straight run in between the center back and left back and was found by a long ball from Larrys Mabiala. It’s difficult to tell but it looked as though Williamson took the slightest touch to control the ball before picking his head up and finding El Maestro on the top of the box. After controlling the ball and squaring up the defender, he shifted the ball onto his left foot and fires across the keeper into the bottom corner. A calm composed finish that had the technical soundness of a vintage Frank Lampard goal.
The Timbers were unable to keep a clean sheet however, as VAR awarded the Dynamo a penalty in the 86th minute for a handball on Jorge Villafana. Alberth Elis drove it home but was sent off for two yellow cards in the 87th and 88th minutes.
The Timbers enjoyed a slight edge in possession with 53% but the Dynamo led in shots by 24 to the Timbers 13. Regardless, two of the Timbers shots went in the net. Worth mentioning, Pablo Bonilla performed soundly at right back until he was replaced in the 82nd minute by Chris Duvall. Jarslow Niezgoda came on for Ebobisse and Loria, who started the first game of the tournament, came on for Williamson in the 69th minute. Yimmi Chara, who started on the wing, was replaced by Andy Polo in the 60th minute.
In the other game of the group between the LA teams, LAFC took a staggering 6-2 win over the Galaxy propping them in 2nd with four points.
If you haven’t seen the goals please please please watch them below and don’t be afraid to applaud either of them. Ebobisse’s strike was a real piece of footballing class and Valeri, well, he did what he has been doing for years. The Timbers will fave LAFC in the third group game on Thursday Ju.y 23rd. #RCTID