Coming off a resounding victory against the Seattle Sounders, the Portland Timbers traveled to Banc of California Stadium on Sunday to take on an out of form LAFC. Instead of taking advantage, the Timbers fell 4-2 to the home team.
Early in the match both teams gave the ball away cheaply and struggled to maintain possession. Eventually, LAFC started controlling the ball more than the Timbers, but Portland was solid defensively and their situational pressing forced LAFC into dangerous giveaways.
In the 24th minute, Eryk Williamson scored his second goal in as many games to put the Timbers ahead. Diego Valeri received the ball from Marvin Loria and fired a pass to Felipe Mora at the top of the box. Mora hesitated and then played it to the on-rushing Williamson who cut by his defender and slid the ball into the back of the net.
Steve Clark saved a shot from Bradley Wright-Phillips in the 29th minute for his 500th career save in MLS. But LAFC turned up the pressure, forcing Clark to make another big save with assistance from Chris Duvall.
An LAFC set-piece would lead to the break through. Mark-Anthony Kaye got away from Jeremy Ebobisse on a corner and met his teammate’s flick on at the back post, tapping it in to make it 1-1.
LAFC smelled blood in the water. A few minutes later Brian Rodriguez played a defense-splitting ball to fellow Uruguayan Diego Rossi, who made it 2-1.
The Timbers were punished again in first half added time. Francisco Ginella picked up the ball after another set-piece and played an easy ball to an unmarked Wright-Phillips who redirected it into the net. LAFC looked to be 3-1 up headed into halftime.
But the Timbers cut the deficit in half a minute later. Jorge Villafana launched a great diagonal ball to the head of Ebobisse, who ended the first half with his looping header finding the back of the net.
The Timbers opened the second half with a sense of urgency after subbing in Yimmi Chara and Pablo Bonilla at halftime. One of their best chances came when Dario Zuparic’s header was saved off the line.
Portland had another great opportunity to tie the match in the 62nd minute. Valeri won a free-kick at the top of the box and smash his shot off the bar.
Toward the end of the match the game became very open with both teams getting into space and running at the opposition’s defense. Substitute Jaroslaw Niezgoda had a penalty shot which was waved off by the referee late in the match.
Danny Musovski scored in the 95th minute to ensure LAFC secured the three points.