PORTLAND Timbers (8W-8L-10D) scored three second-half goals en route to a 3-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC (7W-6L-12D) Saturday night in front of a sold-out BC Place crowd.
After an evenly played first half, the Timbers took control after the break with goals from Alvas Powell, Maximiliano Urruti and Rodney Wallace to hand Whitecaps FC their first Cascadia defeat of the season. The result moves Portland into the fifth and final position in the Western Conference, one point ahead of the sixth-place ‘Caps who have a game in hand.
Saturday’s result doesn’t change the Cascadia Cup standings – Whitecaps FC remain one point back of first-place Seattle Sounders FC with a game in hand. The Timbers, meanwhile, had already been eliminated from contention last week.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made four changes to his starting lineup after last week’s 2-0 loss to LA Galaxy. Most notably, newcomers Mauro Rosales and Kendall Waston both made their first starts and home debuts, replacing Sebastian Fernandez and a suspended Johnny Leveron.
Much of the talk in Vancouver leading into Saturday’s tilt was about Rosales and how he’d combine with fellow playmaker Pedro Morales. Fittingly, it was the South American duo who created the first chance of the match.
In the fifth minute, Rosales chipped an inviting ball into the centre of the box, where Morales headed it just over the goal. It was nearly a dream start for Whitecaps FC, who came out energized in front of an electric BC Place crowd.
The visiting Timbers had a few half-chances in the first half, including a Powell strike off the side netting in the 14th minute, but the ‘Caps did well to nullify their attack.
One player who played a part in that was Waston, who didn’t give Timbers striker Fanendo Adi an inch. The 6-foot-5 Costa Rican also made his presence felt in the attacking third, heading a Morales corner over the goal in the 16th minute.
Vancouver had the better chances, but it was an evenly played first half without much space either way, which wasn’t a big surprise considering the magnitude of the match. Each side had six attempts at goal and the ‘Caps had a very slight edge in possession.
To their credit, Portland put the pressure on early in the second half and were rewarded with the game’s opening goal. After receiving the ball out wide, Diego Valeri crossed the ball into Powell at the near post and the fullback headed it past a sprawling David Ousted to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead in the 51st minute.
The ‘Caps had their chances to respond. In the 66th minute, Russell Teibert released substitute Mattocks into the right side of the box but the Jamaican’s right-footed strike was parried away by countrymate Donovan Ricketts.
Shortly later, Rosales played a nice one-two with Hurtado before hitting the side netting with his attempt from the centre of the box.
The misses proved costly, as Portland doubled their advantage in the 75th minute through a pair of substitutes. Michael Harrington found Urruti in the area and the Argentine fired it home off the crossbar, making it 2-0 for the visitors. And Wallace added an insurance marker in the 79th minute to seal the victory.
Saturday’s match was the first of three straight at home for the ‘Caps. They’re back at BC Place next Saturday, September 6 against D.C. United, before hosting San Jose Earthquakes four days later on Wednesday, September 10. Tickets for both matches are still available at whitecapsfc.com/tickets.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Mauro Rosales
Referee: Armando Villarreal
51′ – POR – Alvas Powell (Diego Valeri)
75′ – POR – Maximiliano Urruti (Michael Harrington)
79′ – POR – Rodney Wallace (Darlington Nagbe)
Shots: Vancouver 9 – Portland 14
Shots on Goal: Vancouver 3 – Portland 5
Saves: Vancouver 2 – Portland 3
Fouls: Vancouver 10 – Portland 11
Offsides: Vancouver 1 – Portland 2
Corners: Vancouver 3 – Portland 5
66′ – POR – Diego Chara
79′ – POR – Rodney Wallace
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 33.Steven Beitashour, 40.Andy O’Brien, 4.Kendall Waston, 2.Jordan Harvey (3.Sam Adekugbe 80′); 15.Matías Laba, 31.Russell Teibert; 30.Mauro Rosales, 77.Pedro Morales, 23.Kekuta Manneh (11.Darren Mattocks 60′); 19.Erik Hurtado (7.Sebastián Fernández 76′)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 8.Medhi Ballouchy, 27.Ethen Sampson, 29.Nicolás Mezquida
1.Donovan Ricketts; 2.Alvas Powell (5.Michael Harrington 74′), 44.Pa Modou Kah, 24.Liam Ridgewell; 21.Diego Chara, 4.Will Johnson; 6.Darlington Nagbe, 8.Diego Valeri (14.Ben Zemanski 89′), 22.Rodney Wallace; 9.Fanendo Adi (37.Maximiliano Urruti 68′)
Substitutes not used:
33.Andrew Weber, 10.Gaston Fernandez, 13.Jack Jewsbury, 25.Danny O’Rourke