Portland Timbers 4, CD Olimpia 2 | CONCACAF Champions League Match Recap
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers' first CONCACAF Champions League home game was not short on excitement, and ultimately ended in success after a 4-2 victory Tuesday night over CD Olimpia at a raucous Providence Park.
A brace by Timbers striker Maximiliano Urruti highlighted the back-and-forth action, with captain Will Johnson and defender Rauwshan McKenzie also adding goals, to give Portland control of Group 5. Olimpia proved to be a worthy competitor as the Honduran champions tied the game twice on first-half goals from Kevin Alvarez and Romell Quioto.
But the impressive depth of Portland, who fielded a lineup of both regular starters and oft-used reserves and sprinkled in Rodney Wallace, Darlington Nagbe and Fanendo Adi as substitutes, proved to be too much for Olimpia down the stretch.
Both teams now have two wins in group play. But if the Timbers can beat last-place Alpha United for the second time on Sept. 23, they can win the group with at least a draw in their return match against Olimpia on Oct. 21 in Honduras.
Olimpia came out of the chute with several early chances in a first-half marked more by shoddy goalkeeping than stellar action.
It was Portland who scored first following an Olimpia turnover in the box off a Timbers corner kick in the 11th minute. Urruti came away with it, took a few touches and slotted through traffic and just between the near post and ‘keeper Noel Valladares.
Olimpia equalized, perhaps through no fault of Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber and more bad man marking, on a David Meza corner kick in the 20th minute that Alvarez coolly nodded in.
Valladares, the Honduran national team starter in all three of their World Cup games earlier this summer, played Portland’s next goal terribly when Johnson let fly from 25 yards out. Valladares came off his line, forcing him to leap for the shot and just barely get a hand on it to deflect into the top corner.
It was Weber’s turn for a gaffe when he spilled a long free kick in the 44th minute that Quioto easily cleaned up and punched over the line for a 2-2 halftime score.
Portland retook the lead in the 57th minute when Johnson played in Urruti with a perfectly timed chip. Urruti then took a chip of his own, popping the ball over a charging Valladares and back to himself before slamming it into the back of the net.
The Timbers wrapped up the proceedings in the 71st minute when McKenzie got on the end of a Gaston Fernandez corner kick for a header goal.
Portland return to MLS action Saturday when they play host to Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps before once again providing the venue for a CCL game next week.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.