The defending champions were struggling mightily heading into Sunday’s Cascadia clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps, but the home side picked up a massive three points with a little help from Pa Modou Kah.
The Portland Timbers captured an important win against the rival Whitecaps, 4-2, at Providence Park, giving the Timbers a lift in the Western Conference standings.
The Whitecaps defender conceded two penalty kicks on the afternoon, both of which resulted in goals for the home side. Diego Valeri’s spot-kick finish after just four minutes got the game going, while second-half substitute Dairon Asprilla converted his chance in the 78th minute.
With the continued absence of Fanendo Adi, Timbers forward Jack McInerney has had his role increased recently, and he came up big just before the half-hour mark. The 23-year-old striker put the home side up 2-0 in the 29th minute after shaking free Kah inside the penalty area.
While the opening 45 minutes weren’t optimal for the Whitecaps, Kekuta Manneh scored his fourth goal of the season moments into the second half.
U.S. Men’s National Team midfielder Darlington Nagbe was active all afternoon for the Timbers, and he was rewarded with the fourth Timbers goal in the 82nd minute. Nagbe spun his free kick from directly outside the box beyond goalkeeper David Ousted, who was left with no chance at making the save.
Despite being down 4-1, the Whitecaps continued to push for goals and salvaged a finish just minutes after Nagbe’s tally. Octavio Rivero was taken down inside the area, leaving Pedro Morales to take and convert on the ensuing penalty kick.
The expected intensity of the rivalry boiled over just as the match ended, when Asprilla was slide tackled by Whitecaps defender Kendall Waston following the final whistle. Waston was issued a red card by referee Ted Unkel, and will likely face a multi-game suspension.
The Timbers will head east to face the Chicago Fire next Saturday, while the Whitecaps return home to BC Place
MAN OF THE MATCH
Jack McInerney was active all afternoon, and had a goal to his name. The Timbers forward finished with six shots, three of which were on goal, and could have added a second tally had he not passed up the team’s second penalty kick attempt to allow Asprilla to take it.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH
It didn’t come until the dying minutes of the game, but Darlington Nagbe‘s free kick was a thing of beauty for the Timbers. With the game likely already out of the reach, Nagbe made certain that there wasn’t a way back for the Whitecaps.
MATCH TO FORGET
After conceding not just one, but two penalty kicks on Sunday, Pa Modou Kah did the Whitecaps no favors. The Timbers converted both