Major League Soccer - Providence Park
7/5/2015 8pm: Warm & Clear, 30C/86F
Pre-game records: Portland Timbers (W8-D4-L6-28pts) vs. San Jose Earthquakes (W7-D4-L5-25pts)
Portland Timbers – GLK Adam Larsen Kwarasey, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Liam Ridgewell, DEF Norberto Paparatto, DEF Jorge Villafana, MID Diego Valeri, MID Jack Jewsbury, MID Will Johnson, MID Darlington Nagbe, MID Dairon Asprilla, FWD Fanendo Adi. Formation: 4-2-3-1.
San Jose Earthquakes: GLK David Bingham, DEF Marvell Wynne, DEF Victor Bernardez, DEF Clarence Goodson, DEF Jordan Stewart, MID Fatai Alashe, MID Leandro Barrera, MID Shea Salinas, MID Tommy Thompson, MID Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, FWD Mark Sherrod. Formation: 4-1-4-1.
Game 19 of the MLS season:
Yet another glorious summer’s day in the Rose City as the Portland Timbers took on the San Jose Earthquakes at Providence Park in a game that was moved from a 2pm kick off to 8pm due to worries over excessive heat as temperatures in the Pacific Northwest got within touching distance of 100F once again. Both of these sides had won their local derby games last weekend with wins over the Seattle Sounders and LA Galaxy respectively. Just 3 points separated the 2 sides going into this game and both were battling their way towards the top of the Western conference standings, so this was an important game the season takes a turn for the home stretch.
Earthquakes coach Dominic Kinnear replaced Chris Wondolowski with Mark Sherrod in attack who played in their defeat to LA Galaxy in the US Open Cup. Caleb Porter rested Borchers, Chara, Wallace, Fernandez and Urruti from their win over the Seattle Sounders and brought in Ridgewell (back from suspension) Jewsbury, Asprilla, and Adi. Were the Portland Timbers going to continue their recent excellent run of form with 5 league wins out of 6 or were the San Jose Earthquakes to be able to make it 3 league wins in a row for them instead? A packed crowd at Providence Park was ready to find out.
14 mins: Apart from a couple of clashes between Ridgewell and Sherrod, there was little to excite either sets of fans as both teams swapped possession in the opening exchanges. The home side seemed to be missing the engine of Diego Chara and lacking some width and San Jose were doing an excellent job of cutting out any through balls played by the home side.
19 mins: The first time that Darlington Nagbe found some space in midfield, he slid a quality pass wide left to Villafana but his low shot was parried wide by Bingham. This was the first real opportunity for either side.
24 mins: A corner was swung in by Salinas and the marking was poor by the home side and Mark Sherrod met it purely with his head and it was cleared off the line by Alvas Powell who appeared to handball it but the referee believed that it came off his shoulder. Poor decision by the referee and the Eartquakes should have had a penalty. A real let off for the Timbers who were struggling to get a foothold in the game.
26 mins: Alvas Powell found space on the right hand side and whipped in a cross that was cleared out only to Valeri who took a touch for control and then hit it sweet and low but unfortunately for the Timbers, very close to the right side of Bingham who collected calmly.
35 mins: Diego Valeri found himself out wide right and slipped a good pass into Dairon Asprilla who took a touch and hit a powerful shot just over the crossbar as the Timbers were beginning to take control of the game.
40 mins: Adi flicked on the ball and Valeri took the ball through to score but the flag did not go up and the referee was the one to make the call and disallow the goal. It was the correct decision but the referee’s assistant did not raise the flag. Still no goals as the Timbers pressed. One minute later Will Johnson hit one from 35 yards and it swerved wide of the post as the Timbers came agonizingly close again.
45 mins: Jordan Stewart clearly appeared to elbow Asprilla directly into the neck but nothing was given as the assistant on the far side had a rough first half as an understatement. Asprilla was okay to carry on.
Half Time Score: Portland Timbers 0-0 San Jose Earthquakes
Shots: Portland Timbers 9 (3) – 5 (2) San Jose Earthquakes
Possession: Portland Timbers 63%-37% San Jose Earthquakes
51 mins: Asprilla bursts through the center of the field taking the ball right to the edge of the penalty area and is brought down cynically by Clarence Goodson but it’s only a yellow card as there were other defenders around. Valeri hit it from 23 yards out but it hit the wall as the Timbers started well in the second half looking for the opening goal.
53 mins: Nagbe picked the ball up just outside his own penalty area from an Earthquakes corner and slid the ball down the line to Valeri who put Villafana through on goal but he was adjudged offside in a very tight call. His shot went wide of the post in any case. Portland were looking dangerous at this point of the game.
57 mins: Tommy Thompson fired in a decent low shot from outside the box on the right hand side but it trickled past the far post in a rare chance for the away team as the Timbers were really showing some urgency in this 2nd half.
68 mins: Alvas Powell was wide right and had his first attempt at a cross blocked but his second attempt at the byline was a good one and it was Will Johnson who almost met it at the back post but Bingham was right there to block any header toward goal. The game was crying out for a Rodney Wallace at this point as Asprilla was struggling to get anything going.
79 mins: The game had been in a rut for a good 10 minutes when Caleb Porter decided to bring on Rodney Wallace and Max Urruti for Asprilla and Adi, neither had a particularly good game as the Timbers were struggling to find a finishing touch.
81 mins: So close for the Timbers as Paparatto rises the highest from a corner swung in and his header is firm but bounces right at the arms of Bingham.
87 mins: Alvas Powell whipped in a decent cross to the far post and substitute Gaston Fernandez nodded it into the back of the net but it is adjudged offside and the home fans joy turns to anger.
90 mins: Valeri whipped in a free kick from the left hand side and it deflected off Gaston Fernandez and looped up and there was Jack Jewsbury to loop a shot instinctively over the keeper and defense to win it for the Portland Timbers! Portland Timbers 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes.
Full Time Score: Portland Timbers 1-0 San Jose Earthquakes
Shots: Portland Timbers 23 (7)–7 (2) San Jose Earthquakes
Possession: Portland Timbers 62% – 38% San Jose Earthquakes
What was one of the more forgettable games of the season at Providence Park as the Timbers probed and proded but could not find a way through a resilient San Jose defense until Jack Jewsbury popped home an injury time winner. Caleb Porter went with only Asprilla as a natural winger for this game and he did not have the best game and Villafana was not as effective as he had been in previous games. Dominic Kinnear will have gone home quite happy with a point after soaking up the pressure but it was not to be as the home side snatched it at the death. Portland have scored more goals in the last 15 minutes than any other team in the MLS and they are now on a run of 6 wins out of 7 games and once again climbing the league table.