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Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Timbers 1-3 LA Galaxy

Tempers flared amidst lapses in defensive concentration as the Timbers were beaten 3-1 by the LA Galaxy.

MLS: LA Galaxy at Portland Timbers Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers suffered their second defeat and third red card of the season in a 3-1 loss to the LA Galaxy at Providence Park.

A sluggish start to the game saw the Timbers concede two goals in the opening 17 minutes of the game, and things went from bad to worse in first-half stoppage-time when Pablo Bonilla was shown a straight red card for violent conduct. Despite pulling a goal back through Bill Tuiloma at the start of the second half, the Timbers couldn’t overcome an in-form Chicharito, who added a second goal for the visitors just after the hour mark.

The Timbers were buoyed by Sebastian Blanco’s first start of the season after the talismanic midfielder was limited to five-straight appearances off the bench following his recovery from an offseason hamstring injury.

Pablo Bonilla also earned his first start of the year in place of the suspended Josecarlos Van Rankin, and after a goal-laden World Cup Qualifying call-up for New Zealand, Bill Tuiloma came back into the starting XI for Zac McGraw, who was out with an illness.

  • 2’ The Timbers nearly opened the scoring just minutes into the match after Paredes played Blanco into the box, but a loose touch from Blanco forced him to attempt a cross instead of a shot, and the chance went out for a corner.
  • 7’ The Timbers again came close to finding the opener after a misplayed header from Raheem Edwards fell to Santiago Moreno, who played the ball to Blanco on the left wing, but his cross was too far over the head of Yimmi Chara at the back post.
  • 9’ Despite the aggressive start from the Timbers, Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez made it 1-0 in favor of the LA Galaxy after a brilliant give-and-go from Samuel Grandsir on the left wing. Grandsir then played an inch-perfect cross to an unmarked Chicharito at the back post, who just had to tap the ball home.
  • 12’ The Timbers nearly responded with an immediate equalizer, as Yimmi Chara squared the ball to Cristhian Paredes on the edge of the box, but Jonathan Bond was able to tip his mis-hit shot over the Galaxy’s crossbar.
  • 17’ The Galaxy made it 2-0 and the goal was, again, created by Grandsir down the left-side of LA’s attack. This time, his low cross deflected off of Bill Tuiloma at the near post past a helpless Aljaz Ivacic.
  • 24’ A stunning double save from Ivacic denied the Galaxy a third goal midway through the first half. Chicharito clipped a cross into Grandsir, whose glanced header was parried into the path of Kevin Cabral inside the six-yard-box, but Ivacic somehow managed to recover and keep the ball out of the net from close range.
  • 28’ Yimmi Chara had the Timbers’ best chance of the game after being played into the box by Paredes but opted to dribble around Bond instead of shooting the ball first-time, which allowed Derrick Williams to get back and clear his eventual shot off the line.
  • In stoppage time at the end of the first half, Pablo Bonilla was sent off for violent conduct after striking Raveloson.
  • It was an extremely frustrating first half of soccer for the Timbers, who out-shot the Galaxy 10-6 while controlling about 52 percent of the possession through 45 minutes. Despite the even nature of the half, the red card and the Galaxy’s clinical finishing gave them the edge, putting away two of their three shots on goal.
  • 48’ The testy nature of the match continued to start the second half, as Blanco and Nick DePuy got into a scuffle that saw both players given yellow cards. Mark Delgado was also shown yellow two minutes later after a bad tackle on Blanco.
  • 51’ Despite their backs being up against the wall after Bonilla’s red card, the Timbers pulled a goal back through Bill Tuiloma at the start of the second half, converting a beautiful free-kick into the top right corner of the goal from the edge of the box.
  • 60’ Two minutes after being shown a yellow card, Chicharito restored the Galaxy’s two-goal lead with a smart, left-footed finish inside the box after good work from Raheem Edwards.
  • 61’ Just a minute after scoring, the Galaxy were reduced to 10-men after Mark Delgado received a second yellow card for a foul on the edge of the box.
  • 68’ After another less-than-stellar performance, Jaroslaw Niezgoda was substituted for Dairon Asprilla. Niezgoda has been a shell of the goal-scorer we saw last season to start the year, having only scored once in six appearances thus far in 2022.
  • 73’ Blanco’s first start of the season came to an end with just over 15 minutes left to play in the match, making way for Eryk Williamson, who returned from last season’s ACL injury in the 1-1 draw with Orlando City last weekend.
  • 82’ Yimmi Chara went down in the box under a challenge from Kelvin Leerdam, but after a brief VAR check, no penalty was given.
  • 83’ Marvin Loria entered the match for Paredes, who couldn’t replicate his goalscoring exploits from the draw with Orlando last weekend.
  • 89’ A cross from Marvin Loria hit Nick DePuy’s outstretched arm in the box in the dying moments of the game. Despite this glaring infringement, referee Nima Saghafi, who lost control of the game in the second half, didn’t award a penalty.

The match finished 3-1 in favor of the LA Galaxy.

Portland are back in action on Saturday, April 9 for the first Cascadia Cup game of the season against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Kick off at BC Place is slated for 7:00 p.m. (Pacific).