The Portland Timbers mounted a comeback Saturday night taking down the San Jose Earthquakes by a score of 2-1. Portland has now gone seven games without a loss in regulation. The Timbers are also 3-0-1 at home in their last four games. Portland also remains dominant in their matchups against San Jose, advancing their record to 12-0-4 when playing in Providence Park. The win jumps the Timbers into the seventh seed in the Western Conference standings, edging out the Seattle Sounders by a point.
For the Timbers, it was a frustrating first half with some setbacks. The Timbers led in shots 9-7 through the first 45 minutes. Of those nine shots, none were shots on goal for Portland. There were also some foul concerns for the Timbers. Portland had three yellow cards called on them between the 39th and 41st minute.
On top of all of this, San Jose’s scoring chances were high quality. Luckily for Portland, Aljaz Ivacic was up to the test. Ivacic was tested early, making a diving save on a shot from Cristian Espinoza in the ninth minute. Then Ivacic made another fantastic stop on a header attempt off a corner kick at the 27th minute. However, San Jose was not to be denied. Off a rebound, Benjamin Kikanović would find the opening goal of the match for the Earthquakes in the 42nd minute.
The second half is where the Timbers showed their resilience. Moments after San Jose’s second yellow card of the game, Portland would equalize. Eryk Williamson and Diego Chara would combine for a give-and-go passing play to set up Chara a chance at the net. However, the ball caught the side of an unsuspecting Jaroslaw Niezgoda on its way towards the goal. The wild deflection would find its way to the back of the net, and Portland would tie the game.
The Timbers were not done with their attack. Six minutes after Dairon Asprilla’s first yellow card, Asprilla would win the battle for a contested header inside the box. The shot would loft behind the airborne goaltender, and Asprilla would score with roughly 20 minutes left in regulation.
Both teams had opportunities to score late in the game. Most notably, Espinoza had a chance to tie the game in the 89th minute. His shot from the top of the box would get past the goaltender, but bounce off the far post. The Timbers would hold on to win 2-1 over the Earthquakes.
Portland will wrap up their July matches next week on Saturday, July 30th at noon PST with a match against Minnesota United FC.