Major League Soccer - Providence Park
7/18/2015 7:30pm: Warm & Clear, 33C/91F
Pre-game records: Portland Timbers (W9-D4-L7-31pts) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (W10-D2-L8-32pts)
Portland Timbers – GLK Adam Larsen Kwarasey, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Liam Ridgewell, DEF Nat Borchers, DEF Jorge Villafana, MID Diego Valeri, MID Diego Chara, MID Will Johnson, MID Darlington Nagbe, MID Dairon Asprilla, FWD Fanendo Adi. Formation: 4-2-3-1.
Vancouver Whitecaps: GLK David Ousted, DEF Jordan Harvey, DEF Tim Parker, DEF Christian Dean, DEF Steven Beitashour, MID Matias Laba, MID Gershon Koffie, MID Kekuta Manneh, MID Mauro Rosales, MID Nicolas Mezquida, FWD Octavio Rivero. Formation: 4-2-3-1.
Game 21 of the MLS season:
El Nino was once again in full swing here at Providence Park on another warm, clear evening as the Portland Timbers took on Cascadia Cup rivals Vancouver Whitecaps for a 3rd time this season. A win at BC Place for the Whitecaps and a scoreless draw at Providence from the other meetings meant that the Timbers were looking for their first victory over their rivals in this calendar year.
Both sides were coming into this match off of defeats as the Timbers recent good form came to a halt away to the Philadelphia Union in one of the worst performances of the season for them, and BC lost 1-0 at home to Sporting Kansas City. Timbers Chairman Merritt Paulson splashed the cash this week with the announcement that the club had signed 22 year old Argentine Lucas Melano from Lanus for a club record $5,000,000. Caleb Porter was quoted to have said that he has had his eye on this youngster for some time and was delighted to have been able to get the deal over the line. Clear intentions from the Timbers that they were pushing for more than just a play-off spot this season.
13 mins: After a cagey opening where both sides found it difficult to get their foot on the ball, Nagbe drove at the Whitecaps defense got the ball wide to Adi who dragged the ball back from the byline to find Nagbe again and his header down found Will Johnson and his shot from 20 yards out was just inches wide. Less than a minute later, Kekuta Manneh found himself open at the edge of the penalty area and his low shot was met brilliantly by Kwarasey to keep the score 0-0 as the game found it’s first real chances.
18 mins: A quick throw in on the right hand side and Chara took advantage of the switched off Whitecaps defense and hit a low cross that fizzed passed everyone including Liam Ridgewell who was just inches away from a connection at the far post.
25 mins: A Vancouver corner kick was swung in from Borchers and a deflection towards goal was cleared away from Diego Chara as the Whitecaps began to get chances. A minute later Manneh was slid through by Rosales and took the ball around Kwarasey with great skill and his shot from 10 yards out to the right hand side was cleared out for a corner from almost the goal line by Nat Borchers.
31 mins: Nagbe was at the edge of the box and slid the ball to the left edge of the penalty area where Adi played a blind pass beautifully to put in Valeri but his low shot was saved by Ousted.
33 mins GOAL!: Diego Chara steals the ball with pace in midfield and finds Adi who in turn slips it through for Valeri and his low shot finds the net! Portland Timbers 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps.
41 mins: A long ball pass from Liam Ridgewell found Adi who chested it down and drilled a volley from 25 yards but it went agonizingly wide of the goal.
Half Time Score: Portland Timbers 1-0 Vancouver Whitecaps
Shots: Portland Timbers 6 (2) – 11 (4) Vancouver Whitecaps
Possession: Portland Timbers 51%-49% Vancouver Whitecaps
51 mins: Nagbe and Valeri combined on the left hand side and Valeri made two amazing rollovers to take it past two defenders but his shot hit the side netting. Shortly afterwards, Valeri’s corner was headed only to the edge of the box and Will Johnson’s low shot was deflected wide as Portland went looking for the 2nd goal.
58 mins: For the first time in the game, the Portlend Timbers took their time to close down the Vancouver attack and it was Matias Laba who took the ball for a good 15 yards and hit one into the far corner to make it. Portland Timbers 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps.
64 mins: Corner was whipped in by Diego Valeri and Fanendo Adi got his head to it from around 6 yards but it was blocked by the Vancouver defence.
69 mins: Rosales stretches but cannot quite get his header on target after an excellent cross from Tim Parker.
84 mins: The home side were pressuring but unable to find an intricate route through the defense as they began to dominate and a free kick was one by Chara from 40 yards. Johnson slid the ball low to substitute Fernandez who played a smart 1-2 with another sub Urruti but Fernandez shot was deflected just over the crossbar.
90 mins: At the final whistle and after a couple of hard challenges on Diego Chara, Will Johson was shown the red card for what looked like dissent toward the referee as things got a little out of hand.
Full Time Score: Portland Timbers 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Shots: Portland Timbers 14 (3)–16 (6) Vancouver Whitecaps
Possession: Portland Timbers 54% – 46% Vancouver Whitecaps
A feisty game between two of the western conference better teams and to be fair, the Vancouver Whitecaps played very well in stifling the Timbers attack. Portland tried to play intricate balls through the opposition defense but all too often came up short even though they dominated the second half. Coach Porter brought on Wallace, Urruti, and Fernandez in the second half as Asprilla disappointed again and Nagbe could not find many opportunities to get at the away sides defense but to no avail. In the end, it was a deserved draw obtained by the Vancouver Whitecaps who remained unbeaten against the Portland Timbers this season.