Sunday, Sept. 19: Timbers 2, LAFC 1
Goals: Dairon Asprilla put home a rebound off the crossbar for his sixth goal of the season, finishing from a corner kick that saw Felipe Mora and Sebastian Blanco (off the cross bar) get headers on the ball (1-0 Timbers, 21st minute).
Cristian Arango converted a penalty kick after Blanco blocked a LAFC free. kick with his arm. (1-1, 27th minute).
George Fochive scored his second goal of the season when a cross from Sebastian Blanco deflected off a defender to the unmarked Fochive at the far post (2-1 Timbers, 68th minute).
What it means: Portland is 11-10-4 (37 points) moves up to fifth place in the Western Conference and has beaten LAFC twice in a row for the first time; LAFC is 9-10-6 (33 points) and remains in eighth place, one spot out of the playoffs.
Reaction: The Timbers were both opportunistic and fortunate in a game that was hotly contested and played at a high tempo. While Portland put three balls into the net — a third goal was waved off for a narrow offside decision called on Larrys Mabiala on a free kick that Felipe Mora put away — LAFC mis-hit point-blank chances for Brian Rodriguez in the 19th minute and for José Cifuentes in the 64th minute. … He didn't get credit for an assist, but it's no fluke that Sebastian Blanco made the play to set up the goal — sending a header off the crossbar on Asprilla's goal and having his cross deflect to Fochive for the winner. Ditto for Felipe Mora, who missed on perhaps his best chance in the first half, but put a bicycle kick on frame and finished what would have been Portland's third goal if not for the narrowest of offside decisions.
Coach Giovanni Savarese: "The game was tough. They're a good team. They created a few chances, but we were very good, especially in the second half. We were very strong, very good in the things that we did when we defended (and) the way we found spaces. How brave we were to be able to go forward."
Fochive: "I think we managed the game pretty well. We needed to win this game so when I came in I was trying to take a little bit more chances going forward, just putting numbers in there, and just defend harder than them."
Savarese on the importance of staying composed in an intense match: "That's what we spoke in the halftime, that no matter what would happen we have to manage (emotion) … being very, very emotionally balanced. I mentioned this many times, and the group has shown maturity in that in that case. (Also), we needed to stay disciplined because we had three players with yellow cards."
Up next: Real Salt Lake at Portland, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 25 (FOX 12 PLUS).
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