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Impact rallies to victory as Timbers suffer another late-game collapse

BernardoCorradi (Getty)

If MLS matches were only 75 minutes long, the Portland Timbers just might be a first-place team. Unfortunately for the Timbers, playing well for 90 minutes has proven to be impossible.

Montreal scored a pair of goals in the final 15 minutes to send Portland to another defeat in a match where John Spencer's team looked capable of earning a point or three. Bernardo Corradi scored the opening goal and helped set up Sinisa Ubiparipovic's insurance goal to give the Impact their second victory of the season.

Portland came in riding high off a win against previously undefeated Sporting Kansas City, but the Timbers offense struggled to find any rhythm against an improving Montreal defense. The Impact looked like a rested team coming off a bye week, particularly in the second half as they pounced on a Timbers side that looked to fade late in yet another match.

Montreal took the lead on a questionable penalty call against Steven Smith, who saw a loose ball hit his leg and bounce up and catch his arm. Corradi converted the penalty to give the Impact the lead.

Ubiparipovic closed things out with a streaking run into the area, where a pass found him wide open for his second goal of the season.

Here are the match highlights:

What did you think of this match? Impressed with Montreal's defense? Think Corradi might be the forward the Impact need to lead the attack? What do you think is wrong with Portland? Have an answer for these late-game collapses?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Correct. Ugly, ugly game that Montreal deserved to win. Timbers are a joke and it is only a matter of time before Spencer gets sent packing.

  2. My third para should have read:
    As for the PK, it was a good call, i believe.
    The Impact deserved to win, did and, for a team having played 6 of 8 games on the road going vs Portland, are beginning to demonstrate they can be in just about every game t.b. played.

  3. As a Impact supporter, my view is that the team is coming together real well: good starting 11, good bench and improving defense.
    As for the game vs Portland, Montreal had better control of the match, much better possession, quality opps, etc.
    Nyassi should have received a card, maybe a red. My first reaction was his boot was too high and could have been better controlled.
    As for the PK, it was a good call, i believe.
    The Impact deserved to win, did and, for a team having played 6 of 8 games going vs Portland, are beginning to demonstrate they can be in just about every game t.b. played.
    Next couple will confirm this. W Rivas coming back, Thomas as a good back-up, w Valentin not distracted w US Olympic focus, the defense will only get better. Also, there should a DP or two t.b. announced in the next 8 wks.
    The Impact’s only bad game was vs. ReBull and Thierry. And in that game, they could have led by 2 goals going into the 2nd half.
    In Montreal, we expect our teams to win championships. It’s in our DNA. This drives everybody at the Impact: from Joey on down to the players, from Nick to Jesse and so on.
    What I like about Jesse is his team focus, his personal commitment to success on the field from one game to the next and his way of evaluation progress. No everybody sees this when evaluation Impact performance. But believe me, it’s in how Montreal wins Championships.

  4. The problem is with the USSF with all their additional ATR over analysis it causes more confusion. Fortunately in Canada we actually us the laws of the game.

  5. I don’t understand how you watch that and say his arm was in an unnatural position. Before the ball even comes in to his foot he is turning away which brings his arms up, but still close to his body.

    And yes, most refs do get it wrong. Most people watching and commenting on this seem to be getting it right, outside of this blog.

  6. Correct, and the accepted interpretation of “deliberate” includes a player moving his arm out from the body in an unnatural manner in order to make themselves bigger or otherwise create a distraction – when they do so (as I think was the case here) and the ball hits their arm, that’s a penalty.

  7. Should have been a straight red to Nyassi for the boot to Perkins’ face. Hopefully the league will review that and Nyassi will get the suspension he deserves.

    As for the Timbers, they’re a mess. There are holes on this team but enough talent to at least be somewhat competitive.

    However, the coach keeps trying to “shoehorn” guys into spots they’re not suited to. He is not playing to their strengths and some guys are getting a free pass in exchange for awful play (Jewsbury, Perlaza, Palmer). It’s also hard to tell if good young players like Alhassan and Nagbe are developing.

    Wide backs are one problem, but CM is a disaster too. Two CDM mids on at the same time, neither doing much offensively. Chara could help on the attack, but he is not free to do so because Spencer insists on out-of-form Jewsbury playing CAM.

    Yesterday it was Palmer-Jewsbury up the spine and the result was a inept CM. Because of this their attack is predictable and easy to stop. Service to Boyd is poor-mediocre or just not happening.

    Also, the team is soft. Leadership on the pitch is being seriously questioned here in PDX. People are also wondering if Spencer has lost the team or if there are other problems internally. The next 1-3 weeks will be interesting, to say the least.

  8. Fair enough but that’s what it says. Here’s the full text (I should save this because it seems to come up about once a week)

    Handling the ball involves a deliberate act of a player making contact
    with the ball with his hand or arm. The referee must take the following
    into consideration:
    – the movement of the hand towards the ball (not the ball towards
    the hand)
    – the distance between the opponent and the ball (unexpected
    – the position of the hand does not necessarily mean that there is
    an infringement
    – touching the ball with an object held in the hand (clothing,
    shinguard etc.) counts as an infringement
    – hitting the ball with a thrown object (boot, shinguard etc.) counts
    as an infringement

    page 110

  9. Agree – the commentator kept prattling on about whether or not it was intentional or not … Doesn’t need to be intentional to be a penalty. Arm was away from his body and Portland gained advantage from the contact with his arm … That’s a penalty.

  10. Disagree, it was a pretty egregious call. His body is turning away from the ball (as is his head) so there is no way he can see it. His arm was not in an un-natural position to get the ball, it was just the bounce that caught him. FIFA rules state that to award a PK it must be intentional; this clearly was not.

  11. Not a bad handball call at all. His hand is outside his body and it prevented the ball from popping up. Watch it again. If that ball pops up, like it should have, the nearest Timbers player in on the ground and the nearest Impact player taps in a header. Absolutely right call.

    Their defense won’t get better until they make some major moves. The problem with Portland’s offense is Chara and Jewsbury. They are so week in midfield and can’t provide any type of service from the run of play. Boyd can finish when he gets service. Nagbe is the only creator. Build your offense around those 2 guys.

  12. This game didn’t feel like the same late game collapse that seemed to be the hallmark of the Chivas, RSL, and LA games. Yes, Montreal scored two goals in the last 15 minutes, but c’mon, that was a bad handball call and I feel like it’s unfair to include a converted PK in with late game defensive lapses that let in Beckerman’s stoppage time winner or Beckham’s golazo. I’ll concede that the second Montreal goal with a defensive breakdown, though. The outside backs need some more awareness of their surroundings, maybe?

    No, yesterday’s game felt like New England again: absolutely horrible, directionless play from the first minute to the last minute. The only difference between the NE and Montreal games is that at least in NE, they had shots on goal, just off target. Boyd had, what? Four missed shots in that game? I can count the number of Timbers shots on goal on one hand in both the games they’ve played on the 4-1-3-2 formation.

  13. Admittedly it is very early in the season… but I wonder whether Spencer’s seat is getting warm. This team looks like a reserve squad when they go on the road. If they can’t win at home, he’ll be looking for work by the end of June.


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