Thanks to a second-half surge in scoring, the Portland Timbers defeated LA Galaxy 3-0 in their afternoon matchup. The win puts the Timbers at 3-3-0 (W-L-D) on the year.
Felipe Mora and Diego Valeri scored the goals for Portland. Mora came in off the bench and immediately helped the offense with two headers while Valeri capitalized on his penalty kick opportunity.
The Timbers looked content to let Los Angeles dominate possession early on in the first half. Portland looked more intent on capitalizing on the counterattack, trying to stay solid defensively before rushing out to an opportunity at the other end. Unfortunately for Portland, they were not looking particularly sharp.
The injury bug reared its ugly head late in the first half. Derrick Williams was very late on a tackle and ran right into Andy Polo, committing one of the more violent tackles seen at Providence Park. The midfielder looked to have injured his leg on the play, and although he didn’t leave the game on a stretcher, he did need assistance walking off the field. Felipe Mora subbed in for Polo and the half ended tied at zero.
dear god derrick williams pic.twitter.com/bIpRIJU3uu— Tom Bogert (@tombogert) May 22, 2021
The Timbers came out of the half and quickly took advantage of being a man up. Just to minutes into the second half, Josecarlos Van Rankin served a beautiful ball over former Timber Jorge Villafana. Mora rushed forward and hit a beautiful header into the top right corner of the net for a goal. The Timbers led 1-0 early in the second half.
The breakthrough is so sweet!#PORvLA | #RCTID pic.twitter.com/Rxs6NEa0a1— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2021
Mora’s insertion into the lineup was crucial for Portland. He provided the connective link for Portland that made the offense function more smoothly. The second half saw plenty of chances for the Timbers, chances that were not as prevalent in the first half.
Mora struck again in the 60th minute. Diego Valeri sent a chip towards the goal that hit the crossbar and Mora immediately rushed to the ball and headed it in for his second goal. After coming into the match with no goals in MLS play, Mora suddenly found himself with a brace. Timbers led 2-0.
A brace for Felipe Mora.#PORvLA | #RCTID pic.twitter.com/15wYraJHGT— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2021
The Chilean striker looked like he would get a shot at the hat trick in the 69th minute. Van Rankin drew a foul in the box to get the Timbers the penalty kick, but instead of Mora taking the shot, Valeri decided to take it himself. The result was a goal for Portland, Valeri’s first in MLS play. After that, it was just a matter of finishing out the game.
With authority!— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 22, 2021
Diego Valeri buries the PK. #PORvLA #RCTID pic.twitter.com/BQfahzLFOc
The Timbers will be back in action next weekend with their final match before the June break against the Philadelphia Union. The two teams will play on Sunday, May 30 at 4 p.m.