The Timbers again lined up with the same formation that secured them wins against the Seattle Sounders and Austin FC in their previous matches, with Cristhian Paredes the lone change in the starting XI due to yellow card accumulation suspension. Head coach Giovanni Savarese was also suspended against Austin for the same reason, so assistant coach Carlos Llamosa would be the man to take charge in the dugout for the match.
Summer signing Juan David Mosquera was initially named in the matchday squad for the first time since his arrival in Portland, but according to the Timbers, his P1-Visa was not received by the league in time to be available for selection.
The first half went really well for the Timbers, who out-shot Atlanta 7-4, and held them to just one shot on-target: A 1v1 save made by Aljaz Ivacic to deny Luiz Araujo. The Timbers would then go on to take the lead through the penalty spot through Santiago Moreno, who dispatched into the top corner with aplomb.
Dairon Asprilla doubled the lead from the spot after the Timbers were awarded a second penalty toward the end of the second half following a foul on Diego Chara in the box. Josef Martinez pulled a goal back for Atlanta just before second half stoppage time, but in the end the Timbers held on to secure the win and another important three points.
- 8’ The first big chance of the match fell to Santi Moreno following a Timbers corner. The ball bounced through a crowd of bodies before falling to Moreno on the edge of the box, but he was forced to take a touch before his shot was contested and sent wide of goal.
- 23’ The Timbers were awarded a freekick after Dairon Asprilla was fouled right on the edge of the penalty area. Sebastian Blanco stepped up to take it, and sent a venomous strike screaming just over the crossbar.
- 29’ Santi Moreno was played in behind Atlanta’s backline, but a poor first touch took him wide of goal. Once he regained control of the ball, he reached into his bag of tricks and laid it on a platter to Yimmi Chara, who sent a poor shot well wide of goal.
- 31’ Aljaz Ivacic was called into action for the first time just past the half-hour mark, producing an outstanding 1v1 save to deny Luiz Araujo from opening the scoring for Atlanta.
- 38’ GOAL TIMBERS, 1-0 Santiago Moreno latched on to a poor Atlanta clearance in the box and clipped the ball over his defender, before being brought down for a Timbers penalty. Moreno then stepped up to take it, and cleared out the cobwebs in the top left corner of the goal with a shot that the ‘keeper had no chance of saving.
HALFTIME At the break, the Timbers led 1-0 courtesy of Moreno’s penalty goal.
- 47’ The Timbers nearly doubled their lead a few moments into the second half, but Zac McGraw couldn’t quite connect on a deep free-kick from Sebastian Blanco at full-stretch.
- 57’ Bill Tuiloma found Dairon Asprilla on the left wing with a long diagonal ball that Asprilla was able to control with his chest before unleashing a half-volley directly at Atlanta’s ‘keeper.
- 66’ The Timbers made their first change of the match, bringing Jaroslaw Niezgoda on for a visibly tired and frustrated Sebastian Blanco.
- 69’ Santi Moreno nearly connected with Bill Tuiloma with a delectable floated cross, but the ball sailed just too far in front of the center back and out for an Atlanta goal kick.
- 75’ The Timbers replaced Yimmi Chara and Cristhian Paredes with David Ayala and Marvin Loria with a quarter of an hour remaining in the match.
- 77’ Shortly after his introduction into the match, Marvin Loria belted a left-footed strike over the bar after a great interception from David Ayala in the middle of the pitch.
- 82’ GOAL TIMBERS, 2-0 The Timbers were awarded their second spot-kick of the match after Diego Chara was fouled from behind following a great pass from Marvin Loria. Dairon Asprilla stepped up to take this one and sent the ‘keeper the wrong way to extend the Timbers’ lead.
- 89’ GOAL ATLANTA, 2-1 Josef Martinez pulled a goal back for the visitors just before second-half stoppage-time with a leaping header from a corner.
- 90’ Immediately after Atlanta’s goal the Timbers broke up the pitch and had a great opportunity to score through Jaroslaw Niezgoda, but his shot was cleared off the line and the chance came to nothing.
FULL TIME After five minutes of second half stoppage time, and a few nervy moments, the Timbers held on to win 2-1 and move level on points with RSL. The Timbers return to action next Saturday, Sept. 10, when Minnesota United come to town. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PST.