The Portland Timbers came to Canada with their sights set on making the MLS Cup Playoffs and bringing back the Cascadia Cup; after their 4-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Timbers come home with nothing.
Things started going south early for the Timbers as the ‘Caps got on the board early, opening the scoring in only the 14th minute. After a puzzling throw in was conceded by Lucas Melano on the Timbers’ left flank, the Whitecaps were able to restart play quickly, catching the Timbers out of position and finding Fraser Aird streaking to the end line. The Whitecaps’ full back hit a quick cross that deflected off the leg of Vytas, only to fall to the feet of Giles Barnes at the top of the box. With no pressure on him, Barnes was able to line up a powerful shot, rippling the back of the net to give the Whitecaps the 1-0 lead.
The Timbers had a chance to level the score in the 20th minute as they got the ball down the pitch to Darren Mattocks on the left flank. Beating a pair of Whitecaps defenders, Mattocks was able to slip a quick ball to the feet of Fanendo Adi inside the Whitecaps box. With a defender on his back, Adi was able to turn and poke a shot past ‘Caps goalkeeper David Ousted, only to see it bounce off the post and away from goal. The Timbers would have a second bite at the apple as Lucas Melano was the first player on the scene, but the Argentine winger could only get a shin to the ball and sent his point blank attempt spinning wide of the open net.
The match went from bad to worse for the Timbers in the 32nd minute as Barnes again got on the ball and again found the back of the net. Coming in to a fifty-fifty challenge with Alvas Powell on the Timbers’ right, Barnes was able to bull past the Timbers’ full back and carry the ball into the box before slotting a precise, side-footed shot past Gleeson and just inside the far post to extend the Whitecaps lead to 2-0.
Of course, things can always get worse.
With the Timbers pushing forward, desperate for a goal to get them back in the game, the Whitecaps were ruthless on the break and quickly grabbed another pair of goals early in the second half.
Pedro Morales got the Whitecaps third goal in the 54th minute as Vancouver got the ball into the Timbers box, only to see Jermaine Taylor win it away. With a man on his back, however, Taylor was only able to boot the ball aimlessly up the pitch, finding the feet of Morales at the top of the box. With time to set up his shot, Morales hit a dipping ball that left Gleeson with no chance at the save.
The Whitecaps’ fourth goal would come moments later as the Timbers coughed up the ball immediately after the restart. Nicolas Mezquida would get on the ball in the Timbers box and, twisting and turning, get free of the defender on his back before hitting a sharp shot past Gleeson from close-in to make the score 4-0.
There was some small consolation to be had for the Timbers in the 71st minute as Jack Barmby drove into the Whitecaps box and was taken down, prompting referee Alan Kelly to point to the spot. Diego Valeri would step up and send Ousted the wrong way as he slotted home the penalty, bringing the score to 4-1.