Stoppage Time Goal Helps Timbers Defeat Galaxy
PORTLAND, Ore. - Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded two assists, forward Ryan Johnson tallied a first-half goal and defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste delivered the game-winner in second-half stoppage time to help the Portland Timbers defeat the LA Galaxy 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 20,674 at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night.
With the win, the Timbers (8-2-9, 33pts) move into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference and extend their home unbeaten streak to seven games.
Two of MLS's top-scoring clubs, the Galaxy (9-8-3, 30pts) and Timbers traded goals in the first half. Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas struck for the opening goal in the 17th minute. The Timbers pulled level 10 minutes later, as a quickly taken restart led to Johnson's equalizer in the 27th minute and the two sides entered the break locked at 1-1.
After a hard-fought second half, the Timbers claimed all three points with the game-winning goal four minutes into second-half stoppage time. A corner kick from the right side by Valeri was met by Jean-Baptiste near the top of the six-yard box and the defender snapped a header inside the left post.
Portland battled back to earn a result for the sixth time this season after going down a goal in a match.
The Galaxy became the first club in seven MLS matches at JELD-WEN Field to unlock the Timbers defense, as a cross by midfielder Hector JimÃ©nez was headed home by Sarvas in the bottom left corner. The goal by Sarvas was the first allowed by the Timbers at home in a league match since March 9, ending a consecutive shutout streak at 587 minutes.
The Timbers evened the score on Johnson's sixth goal of the season. On quickly taken restart in the attacking third, Valeri slipped a pass down the right side of the box for Darlington Nagbe. On his first touch, Nagbe squared the ball across the goalmouth for Johnson slicing through on the back side, and Johnson drove the ball into an open left side of the goal.
Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts recorded four saves on the night. He made a key diving save in the 38th minute on a free kick by Galaxy midfielder Juninho from the top of the arc aimed at the top left corner of the goal. Ricketts' outstretched hand pushed the ball just wide of the target.
The Timbers forced Galaxy goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini into a sequence of saves just after the hour mark. After a diving save on a shot by Nagbe from the top of the box, Cudicini was able to recover and moved across his line to make a second save on a shot by Johnson on the rebound at the left post.
The Timbers return to the road to take on the Philadelphia Union on Saturday, July 20, at PPL Park at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match will be televised live on KPDX and in Spanish on EstrellaTV, with radio broadcasts on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940AM.
- The Timbers are unbeaten in their last seven MLS matches at JELD-WEN Field, posting a 6-0-1 record over that span.
- Portland has earned results in six of the eight matches this season (2-2-4) when it allows the first goal of the match. Saturday's match marked the second time this season in which the club overcame a deficit to record a victory; the previous was April 27 at Sporting Kansas City.
- The Timbers captured their second victory against the Galaxy in the all-time MLS series between the two clubs. Portland has defeated LA in two of the three meetings at JELD-WEN Field.
- Midfielder Diego Valeri recorded two assists in a match for the third time this season, also achieving the feat April 27 at Sporting KC and May 12 versus Chivas USA - both victories.
- Valeri's assist on Johnson's goal in the 27th minute was the 100th assist by the Timbers as an MLS club.
- Johnson scored his sixth goal of the season and is tied for the team lead in goal-scoring with midfielder Will Johnson.
- The game-winner by defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste, his second-career MLS goal, four minutes into stoppage time is the latest game-winning goal scored by the Timbers in their MLS history.
- The Timbers still have the fewest losses (2) this season in MLS.
- The Galaxy's goal scored by Marcelo Sarvas in the 17th minute snapped the Timbers extended shutout streak at 587 minutes, spanning eight league games from March 9-July 13.
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