Timbers can’t hold lead again, fall flat in 2-1 loss to Chivas USA
The Portland Timbers came into their match against Chivas USA looking for a positive result after losing a 2-1 lead last week vs. Real Salt Lake on two late goals, ending up at the short end of a 3-2 score. And though the Timbers got off to a good start with a Kris Boyd goal, the Timbers would concede a goal early in the second half, and never seemingly recovered, and would end up giving up a late goal and would fall 2-1 to Chivas USA in front of another sold-out crowd at JELD-WEN Field.
The Timbers had the first good chance of the match in the sixth minute, when Darlington Nagbe had a good look on a run down the right side, but his blast was well over the crossbar. Seven minutes later, it was Portland’s Eric Alexander making a nice run, eluding several defenders before finding Nagbe, but the Timbers forward’s strike was right at Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
But two minutes later, the Timbers would take advantage of a Chivas mistake to take the early lead. A long cross into the Chivas box by Lovel Palmer was set to be easily collected by Kennedy, but the Chivas keeper ran into his own defender James Riley while going for the ball, and the ball felt to the feet of Kris Boyd, who hesitated just a second to let the ball settle before blasting into the open net to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead, and would be the first time this season the Timbers had scored the first goal of a match.
Chivas nearly had a good chance seconds later when a through ball to Alejandro Moneno was just barely collected by Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins before Chivas striker could get a touch on the ball. A minute later Chivas had a few more good chances, with the first cross being cleared by Andrew Jean-Baptiste, and a follow up shot blocked by Eric Brunner.
In the 20th minute, Boyd nearly doubled his total when Alexander played a nice cross from the right side, but Boyd’s header was just over the crossbar. In the 31st minute, a Franck Songo’o cross produced a good chance for the Timbers, but Alexander’s one-timer was cleared over the endline by a Chivas defender.
Carrying a lead into halftime for the first time this season, the Timbers hopes for finding a way to finally close out a match (and earn their first shutout in their past eight matches) only lasted for three minutes when a cross from the left side from Chivas second half substitute Ryan Smith found the head of Moreno, who had climbed above Brunner, and headed just side the left post, and the match was level at 1-1.
The visitors would control much of the play throughout the entire second half, and in the 67th minute a mis-hit cross by Ante Jazic went towards the upper left corner of the goal but was controlled well by Perkins.
One of the few goal scoring chances for the Timbers in the second half would come in the 67th minute, when second half substitute Kalif Alhassan attempted to curl a free kick into the top corner of the net, but Kennedy was ready for it and collected easily.
In the 78th minute, Chivas USA had a chance to take the lead when Moreno turned on the ball about 15 yards out from goal, but his quick shot was smothered well by Perkins.
But the Timbers had been on their heels for much of the second half, and that would finally pay off for the visitors in the 82nd minute, on a goal that was almost a carbon copy of the first Chivas goal, when Smith was given a lot of room to cross from the left side, and his cross was met by a free header by Nick LaBrocca, and once again it was just inside the left post, and Chivas had a 2-1 lead.
Having done very little to threaten for the entire second half, the Timbers had no response to the LaBrocca goal and for the second straight match at home, a Timbers lead will not hold up, and would end up in another loss, their third straight of the 2012 season, and matching their longest losing streak of their MLS history.