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Valeri, Borchers lead Timbers past Impact



Photo by Steve Dykes/USA Today Sports


Diego Valeri took to the field for the first time last week, but the Portland Timbers playmaker really marked his return Saturday against the Montreal Impact.

In his second game after recovering from an ACL injury, Valeri provided the game-winning goal to lead the Timbers to a 2-1 victory at Stade Saputo.

Valeri’s finish came in the 70th minute via a curling effort.  Surrounded by the Impact defense, Rodney Wallace toe-poked a pass to the Argentine, who stepped up to curl a shot from the left and into the far post.

After maintaining control through the majority of the first half, the Impact conceded on a goal by Nat Borchers in the 64th minute, as the Timbers defender took advantage of an open net, and some Impact ball-watching, to give his side the lead.

Kick-started by a Diego Chara cross, the ball was headed on by Valeri and into the path of Fanendo Adi, whose shot dinked off the crossbar. Borchers jumped in to follow the shot, heading home from close range to snag the advantage for the Timbers.

Valeri doubled that advantage from nothing with the Timbers’ second goal in the 70th minute as the visitors began to pull away.

The Impact responded almost immediately as Dominic Oduro pounced on a rebound to push the scoreline to 2-1 in the 71st minute

Following up on an Eric Alexander effort, Oduro hit a volleyed shot right past a helpless Adam Larsen Kwarasey to give the Impact a lifeline.

The Impact appeared to have leveled the scoreline in the 78th minute via Jack McInerney, who headed home a wide open effort from close-range. McInerney’s space was created by a shove on Jack Jewsbury, and the referee ruled a foul on the forward to disallow the goal and preserve the Timbers’ lead.

Following the victory, the Timbers return to action on May 16 in an away matchup with the Houston Dynamo. The Impact look to bounce back that same day against Real Salt Lake.

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