Wednesday, July 21: Timbers 2, LAFC 1
The goals: Diego Valeri controlled a cross from Josecarlos Van Rankin with his chest and slid a shot through the legs of goalkeeper Tomas Romero (1-0 Timbers, second minute).
Carlos Vela scored a tap-in goal for LAFC off a quick transition and low zipped cross from Diego Rossi (1-1, 17th minute).
Felipe Mora used a flick-on header of a delivery from the right touchline by Sebastian Blanco to win it for the Timbers less than a minute from the final whistle (2-1 Timbers, 90+3).
What it means: With their second consecutive home win, the Timbers improve to 6-6-1 (19 points) and moved to sixth place in the MLS Western Conference. LAFC is 6-5-3 (21 points), fifth in the West.
Takeaways: This could be a momentum-shifting result for Portland. And, it was another reminder of the quality the Timbers have missed with Sebastian Blanco injured. Blanco came on in the 74th minute and his ball on the winning goal came from deep, just inside the right sideline with a pair of LAFC players closing on him. Mora did the rest, getting in front of his defender to flick his header into the goal. … LAFC dictated much of the play on the ball. The visitors outshot Portland 17-7 (6-3 on goal), earned 11 corner kicks and had a 14-5 edge in scoring chances. … With the dramatic way the match started (Valeri's 100th Timbers' goal in all competitions) and ended (Mora's winner), what might be lost is how well Portland defended its own penalty area on corner kicks (a problem not long ago) and against periods of sustained attacking possession for the visitors. … Former Timbers homegrown player and Gresham native Marco Farfan made his return to Providence Park and started at left center back for LAFC, his seventh consecutive start. After a nervous few minutes, letting the ball reach Valeri on the opening goal, he played a solid match, including a nifty dribbling move late in the game. … Valeri has scored 86 MLS regular-season goals for Portland (in 246 matches) and 14 in other matches, including the playoffs.
Up next: Portland at Minnesota United, 5 p.m. Saturday, July 24.
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