Photo by Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports
By MIKE DONOVAN
Coming into the match one point behind the Vancouver Whitecaps for the final playoff spot, the Portland Timbers delivered the victory they needed to have a chance for the post-season.
It wound up not being enough.
Darlington Nagbe and Maxi Urruti had the goals as the Timbers beat the Texas side, 2-0, to extend their season, but only for a few hours. Vancouver’s 1-0 victory against Colorado eliminated the Timbers from the playoffs.
It took until his 32nd game of the season, but Nagbe finally scored his first goal of the season when his long range shot took a deflection off Zach Loyd’s foot and left Chris Seitz helpless. The goal was a long time coming for the 24-year-old who notched nine tallies in the 2013 season.
Urruti sealed the match in the second half when he took a pass from his fellow Argentine, Gaston Fernandez, and then turned and fired a long-range shot for his tenth goal of the season. Coming in as a sub, Urruti found space and made no mistake to cap his first full season with the Timbers.
Prior to Urruti’s strike, Dallas twice thought it had the equalizer in the second half but both times referee Jair Murrafo disallowed the score. The first time was when Fabian Castillo’s punched-in goal was disallowed and the Colombian received a yellow card for the play. Minutes later, Blas Perez’s goal was denied after the ball was ruled to be out-of-bounds in the buildup to the play.
Needing a victory to clinch third place in the Western Conference, FC Dallas came out slow, mustering just three shots in the first half. Their lone shot on target almost found the back of the net, but Donovan Ricketts made a diving one handed save on a David Texiera header.
The loss was the first home loss for FC Dallas since May 31 and means the club will play in the MLS Western Conference playoff knockout round against the Whitecaps on Wednesday or Thursday.
Here are the match highlights: