Timbers Clinch Berth in Audi MLS Cup Playoffs with 5-2 Win against La Galaxy
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers received goals from four different players, including a first-half brace from Jaroslaw Niezgoda, to secure a berth in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs and a 5-2 win against the LA Galaxy at Providence Park on Wednesday night. Andy Polo, Diego Valeri and Eryk Williamson all tallied goals in the victory, while Yimmi Chara recorded three assists.
Playoff Spot Secured
With the win, Portland (10-5-5, 35pts) secured a spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs for a fourth consecutive season, extending the club's all eras record for consecutive playoff appearances. Head coach Giovanni Savarese is the first coach in club history to qualify for the playoffs in his first three seasons. The Timbers are currently third in the Western Conference standings, trailing first-place Sporting Kansas City (36pts) by just one point with three games remaining on their regular-season schedule.
Niezgoda notched his second brace of the season, scoring twice in the first 19 minutes of the match. Niezgoda's brace was the quickest to start a match in the club's MLS history. He has tallied a brace in each of his last two starts, increasing his season total to seven goals.
Yimmi Chara Assists
Yimmi Chara recorded three assists in the match. He is the third player in club history to record three assists in a single MLS match, joining Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace. His seven assists lead the team in 2020. Notably, six of his assists this season have come against the Galaxy, which is the most assists by a Timbers player against a single opponent in a season.
Against LA Galaxy
Portland has scored at least five goals twice against the LA Galaxy this season. The Timbers are the first team with multiple five-goal games against an opponent in a single MLS season since the Chicago Fire against the New York Red Bulls in 2008. In 2020, the Timbers have posted a record of 3-1-0 in the season series, outscoring the Galaxy by a margin of 15-9. Portland's 15 goals against the Galaxy this season are the most goals the club has scored against an opponent in a single season.
POR - Jaroslaw Niezgoda (Jorge Villafaña, Yimmi Chara), 6th minute: Jorge Villafaña made a run down the left side and served a pinpoint cross to the center of the box for Jaroslaw Niezgoda, who sent his header inside the right post.
POR - Jaroslaw Niezgoda (Pablo Bonilla), 19th minute: Yimmi Chara laid the ball off for Pablo Bonilla at the edge of the box. Bonilla fired a hard pass to Niezgoda, who re-directed the ball with a header into the bottom right corner of the goal.
POR - Diego Valeri (penalty kick), 30th minute: After Nicholas DePuy was whistled for a handball in the box, Diego Valeri stepped to the spot and converted into the left side of the net.
LAG - Cristian PavÃ³n (Yony GonzÃ¡lez, Sebastian Lletget), 46th minute: Against the run of play, Sebastian Lletget intercepted the ball just past midfield and slotted a pass to Yony GonzÃ¡lez in the center of the box. GonzÃ¡lez sent a back-heel pass to Cristian PavÃ³n, who fired his shot into the goal.
POR - Eryk Williamson (Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Yimmi Chara), 60th minute: After receiving a pass from Niezgoda, Eryk Williamson dribbled down the left side of the box past an LA Galaxy defender and converted from a tight angle near the left post.
POR - Andy Polo (Yimmi Chara), 74th minute: Yimmi Chara picked out Andy Polo, making a run down the right side of a box and delivered a perfect pass to Polo, who hit a volleyed shot out of midair into the top left corner.
LAG - Cristian PavÃ³n, 90+1: Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark parried away a cross by GonzÃ¡lez, but PavÃ³n pounced on the loose ball and converted from close range.
The Timbers have qualified for the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, extending an all-eras club record for consecutive playoff appearances.
Gio Savarese is the first Timbers coach in all eras history to qualify for the playoffs in his first three seasons with the club.
The club's 44 goals this season are tied for the most in the league with Los Angeles FC.
The Timbers now have four players (Jeremy Ebobisse, Felipe Mora, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Diego Valeri) with seven or more goals this season. No other MLS team has more than two players with seven or more goals.
Portland has scored 15 goals against the Galaxy this season, which is the most goals the Timbers have scored against an opponent in one season.
Portland scored five goals in a home match for the second time in MLS play.
For the third time in 2020, the Timbers have scored five or more goals in a single match. Heading into 2020, the club had scored five or more goals three times in its first nine MLS seasons.
Portland scored three goals in the first 30 minutes of a match for the second time in its MLS history. They last accomplished this feat in 29 minutes against Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 28, 2016.
A total of 14 different players have registered an assist for the Timbers this season.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda has tallied four headed goals this season, which ranks as the most in the league. Niezgoda and teammate Jeremy Ebobisse are the only players in MLS with at least three headed goals in 2020.
Niezgoda notched his second brace of the season, scoring twice in the first 19 minutes of the match. Niezgoda's brace was the quickest to start a match in Portland's MLS history.
Niezgoda has scored a brace in each of his last two starts, increasing his season total to seven goals.
Niezgoda tallied his first assist of the season.
Yimmi Chara delivered three assists in the match. He is the third Timbers player to record three assists in a single match, joining Diego Valeri and Rodney Wallace.
Chara leads the team with seven assists this season. Six of Chara's six assists have come against the LA Galaxy, which is the most assists by a Timbers player against a single opponent in a season.
Diego Valeri scored his eighth goal of the season, which is tied for the club lead with Jeremy Ebobisse.
Valeri recorded his 21st penalty-kick goal in MLS, which is the fifth-most in league history.
Eryk Williamson scored his third goal of the season.
Andy Polo scored his first regular-season goal of 2020 and the second of his Timbers career. Polo is the 13th different player to score a goal for Portland in the 2020 regular season.
Jorge Villafaña delivered his fourth assist of the season.
Pablo Bonilla recorded the first assist of his Timbers career.
Facing a quick turnaround, Portland squares off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday, Nov. 1, at Providence Park; kickoff is set for The Nov. 1 match features a local television broadcast on FOX 12 PLUS with local radio broadcast on 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (10-5-5, 35pts) vs. LA Galaxy (5-11-3, 18pts)
Oct. 28, 2020 - Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 3 2 5
LA Galaxy 0 2 2
POR: Niezgoda (Villafaña, Y. Chara), 6
POR: Niezgoda (Bonilla), 19
POR: Valeri (penalty kick), 30
LAG: PavÃ³n (GonzÃ¡lez, Lletget), 46
POR: Williamson (Niezgoda, Y. Chara), 60
POR: Polo (Y. Chara), 74
LAG: PavÃ³n, 90+1
POR: GK Clark, D Bonilla (Farfan, 63), D Mabiala, D Zuparic, D Villafaña, M D. Chara, M Williamson (Zambrano, 84), M Flores (Polo, 63), M Valeri ©, M Y. Chara (Conechny, 84), F Niezgoda (Mora, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Duvall, D Tuiloma, M Paredes
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Valeri, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Valeri, 3); FOULS: 8 (Mabiala, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 4
LAG: GK Klinsmann, D Feltscher, D Steres, D DePuy, D InsÃºa (Traore, 74), M Kitchen, M Harvey (Kljestan, 46), M Araujo (Lletget, 46), M Dos Santos ©, M PavÃ³n, F GonzÃ¡lez
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bingham, M Corona, M Ãlvarez, M Koreniuk, F Zubak
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (GonzÃ¡lez, PavÃ³n, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (PavÃ³n, 3); FOULS: 10 (Kitchen, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Kathryn Nesbitt, Mike Rottersman
Fourth Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Allen Chapman
Weather: Clear, 53 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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