Back at Providence Park for the first time since May 22, the Portland Timbers (3-7-6) destroyed the Colorado Rapids (5-4-6) 3-0, picking up three much-needed points to distance themselves from the Western Conference basement. A penalty from Blanco and a brace from Niezgoda on either side of halftime were the difference for the Timbers.
The Timbers’ top-scorer Bill Tuiloma returned to the Starting XI, in place of the suspended Larrys Mabiala, after narrowly missing out on a World Cup berth while on international duty with New Zealand.
The squad is set ✅— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) June 26, 2022
Tonight's XI: pic.twitter.com/GfrSQuxYiT
- 3’ The first big chance of the game fell to Yimmi Chara, who received a pass from Cristhian Paredes before firing a right-footed shot on goal that forced a low save from William Yarbrough in the Rapids’ net.
- 6’ The Timbers should have opened the scoring in the sixth minute through Yimmi Chara, who found himself wide open in the middle of the box, but an over-hit pass from Jaroslaw Niezgoda saw the chance come to nothing.
- 19’ After a bright start to the match, an injury to Cristhian Paredes took the wind out of the sails for the Timbers, who were forced to bring Eryk Williamson into the match before the 20th minute. Another tough blow to a team that has had to deal with a multitude of injuries this season.
- 31’ From a corner, Niezgoda flicked a near-post header onto the head of Tuiloma, but the centerback couldn’t get the right placement on his own header and the ball sailed over the crossbar.
- 34’ The ball fell to Sebastian Blanco in the box following a blocked shot from Yimmi Chara, and a left-footed strike from the Timbers’ #10 drew a smart, close-range stop from Yarbrough.
- 37’ Aljaz Ivacic produced an impressive save of his own a few minutes to deny a curling strike from Jonathan Lewis, keeping the score level between the two sides.
- 45+2’ GOAL TIMBERS: 1-0 The Timbers were awarded a penalty after a dangerous challenge from Yarbrough on Moreno left the Rapids’ goalkeeper unable to continue the match. From the spot, Blanco stepped up and scored despite some mind-games prior to the shot from the Rapids’ 19-year-old substitute ‘keeper Abraham Rodriguez.
At the end of a frantic first-half the Timbers led 1-0 courtesy of the spot-kick from Blanco.
- 47’ Immediately following the restart, Yimmi Chara went close to making it 2-0 for the Timbers, but couldn’t get any placement on a right-footed strike after a pass from Niezgoda.
- 49’ Ivacic made a diving save to keep out a Diego Rubio free-kick, and from the rebound saved a wicked strike from Michael Barrios to keep the Rapids off the scoresheet.
- 54’ GOAL TIMBERS: 2-0 Niezgoda doubled the Timbers’ lead after bringing a lofted-ball down with his chest, before leathering it into the back of the net. The goal was checked by VAR for a possible hand-ball, but after review the goal stood.
- 62’ GOAL TIMBERS: 3-0 The Timbers third goal once again came courtesy of Niezgoda, who had a simple tap-in on the doorstep following a wicked cross from Eryk Williamson.
- 71’ Dairon Asprilla replaced Yimmi Chara for the Timbers.
- 73’ Tuiloma very nearly made it 4-0 to the Timbers via a freekick from distance, but his powerful shot cannoned back off the base of the right-hand post.
- 83’ Nathan Fogaca and Zac McGraw replaced Niezgoda and Blanco.
- 89’ The Timbers made their final substitution of the match as David Ayala entered the game for Diego Chara.
- 90’ Four minutes of stoppage time were added at the end of the match.
The match finished 3-0 in favor of the Timbers.
A quick turnaround for the Timbers will see the Houston Dynamo come to town on Wednesday, June 29, with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 P.M. PST.