Kris Boyd celebrates the first goal of the night against the Los Angeles Galaxy

The Portland Timbers played their first match after coach John Spencer had been fired when they took on the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday, and it would be a wide-open goal fest that the Timbers would take an early lead in, but they could not hold onto the lead and would end up as a 5-3 loss in front of another sold-out crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field.

The match was barely two minutes old when the Timbers would surge out to the lead, when Portland’s Kalif Alhassan found forward Kris Boyd near the near post, and Boyd would one-time a shot past former Timbers goalkeeper Josh Saunders and into the net, and the Timbers had the early 1-0 lead.

The Timbers would not be able to build on that early momentum, and the Galaxy would have the next few chances, the first being in the 10th minute when Marcelo Sarvas had a good look from the top of the Timbers box, but his shot was right at Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins and easily saved.  Three minutes later, the visitors did well to get the ball deep on the right side to an overlapping Sean Franklin, but his dangerous cross through the box did not find an any Galaxy attackers.

In the eitghteenth minute, it was the Galaxy on the attack again, and seemed ready to tie the score when Landon Donovan found Hector Jimenez wide open on a run into the box and was one-on-one with Perkins, but slid the shot just wide left from 12 yards out.

But the Galaxy pressure since the opening goal would finally pay off in the 19th minute, and would open the floodgates for the next ten minutes.  The barrage started when the Timbers defense made the mistake of leaving David Beckham wide open 30 yards from goal directly in front of the net, and Beckham would work his magic and curled in a perfect shot into the left side netting, and the early lead was gone and the score was level at 1-1.

Just four minutes later, the Timbers would give up a free kick deep in their own end of the pitch, and Beckham would once again make the Timbers pay for their mistake, curling a shot perfectly over the wall and inside the left post, and in a span of four minutes a 1-0 Timbers lead was a 2-1 Galaxy lead.

And just two minutes after the Galaxy took the lead, a foul in the box by Portland’s Kosuke Kimura would lead to a penalty kick, taken by Donovan would chipped a shot right down the middle as Perkins dove left, and the lead was 3-1.

And the onslaught wasn’t over, when only a minute later, the Timbers were beaten down the right side as Donovan made a deep run, and slotted a low pass through the Timbers box that was easily finished by Robbie Keane from five yards out, and in just a matter of ten minutes, a 1-0 Timbers lead was now a 4-1 Galaxy lead, the first time the Timbers had given up four goals at home in their MLS era.

In the 32nd minute, the Timbers had a great chance to pull a goal back when Jack Jewsbury was able to turn on the ball inside the Galaxy box, but his shot was blocked by a good save by Saunders.  But then in the 34th minute, the Timbers would pull that goal back when a free kick from 25 yards out by Boyd was stopped by Saunders, but none of the Galaxy defenders responded and three Timbers players slipped in behind and it was Kimura who would jump on the loose ball and score to bring the score back to 4-2 Galaxy.

In the 36th minute, the Timbers would have the last good scoring chance of the half off a corner kick when David Horst did well to get a header on the Steven Smith corner kick, but Saunders was able to make the save near the post, and the Galaxy would hold onto the 4-2 lead at the half.

In the third minute of the second half, the Timbers had a golden opportunity to pull back within a single goal when on a counterattack off a Galaxy corner kick, Darlington Nagbe slipped in behind the Galaxy defense off a long pass from Perkins and had a one-on-one with Saunders, but the Galaxy keeper did well to block the shot after cutting down the angle.

In the 52nd minute, the Timbers dodged a bullet when Keane was able to slip in along the endline into the Timbers box, with his shot being barely cleared over the endline at the last minute,  Off the ensuing corner, Beckham nearly found David Junior Lopez at the far post but the ball just eluded the attempted header.

In the 54th minute, the Galaxy would have another one-on-one chance with Donovan slipping in alone, but once again the one-on-one chance was lost, with the shot slipping just wide right this time.

In the 58th minute, the Timbers were only prevented from pulling back to within a goal by a spectacular clearance from the goal mouth by Franklin, with three Timbers ready to pounce on the shot.

But in the 64th minute, the Galaxy would add a fifth goal when Franklin got in behind the Timbers defense, and slipped a low pass that Keane would one-touch to the far post, slipping just inside the post to widen the lead to 5-2.

Then in the 70th minute, the Timbers would once again pull back to within two goals when a free kick from 30 yards out was once again taken by Boyd, this time finding the net directly as it was perfectly placed just inside the right post, and the Galaxy lead was now 5-3.

Though the Timbers did have a few chances to pull another goal back, the best being in the 89th minute on a loose ball inside the Galaxy box that Jewsbury couldn’t get to before Saunders collected it, then in stoppage time when Jewsbury’s shot from near the top of the box slipped just a yard past the left post, but the Timbers never found the net again, and would end up on the short end in a 5-3 thriller.

http://www.portlandtimbers.com/news/2012/07/recap-boyds-brace-not-enough-las-5-3-win-portland

http://www.portlandtimbers.com/news/2012/07/wilkinson-shoulders-blame-after-rough-loss-la