Portland Timbers 4, Vancouver Whitecaps 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
The Portland Timbers needed to muster up a response after losing each of their last three games. They certainly came up with a big one.
The Timbers defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps, 4-2, on Sunday afternoon in a rainy Cascadia Cup clash played at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon. Four different players found the back of the net for the reigning MLS Cup champions, including Diego Valeri on a penalty kick four minutes in that set the tone and Darlington Nagbe via a splendid, 82nd-minute free kick.
The Whitecaps were down two goals in the first half due to a pair of self-inflicted wounds, but managed to make the game tight early in the second half when a deflected Kekuta Manneh shot found the back of the net. More defensive troubles ruined any chance of a comeback, however.
Sunday's win saw the Timbers improve to 4-6-3 on the year while dropping the Whitecaps to 6-6-2. The victory also gave Portland their first three points in the race for the 2016 Cascadia Cup, three behind leading Vancouver.
- 4' – POR – Diego Valeri (Penalty Kick)
- 29' -- POR -- Jack McInerney (Lucas Melano, Ben Zemanski)
- 49' -- VAN -- Kekuta Manneh
- 78' -- POR -- Dairon Asprilla (Penalty Kick)
- 82' -- POR -- Darlington Nagbe
- 84' -- VAN -- Pedro Morales (Penalty Kick)
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- FILLING IN NICELY: The Timbers were without injured forward Fanendo Adi in this one, but his loss was not really felt thanks to the performance of McInerney. The 23-year-old striker proved to be a handful for the Whitecaps' defense throughout the match, using his tenacity and hustle to draw the early penalty kick, scoring via a tidy finish to put Portland up 2-0, and hitting another pair of shots that forced Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted into some impressive saves.
- SHOOTING THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT: Carl Robinson's club had issues containing the Timbers' dynamic attack for much of the 90 minutes, but three of the four goals that the Whitecaps conceded were a direct result of their own mistakes. Pa Modou Kah gave up a pair of penalty kicks on the day, one that came after a whiffed clearance four minutes in and the other for a handball, and Waston slipped on the 29th-minute play to allow McInerney just enough space to score.
- LEAVING ON A HIGH NOTE: Nagbe is headed to the US national team this week to begin preparations for the Copa America Centenario, and he is leaving Portland with quite the performance under his belt. Apart from scoring a well-taken free kick late in the game to open his 2016 account, Nagbe was very active and aggressive playing out wide in Caleb Porter's 4-2-3-1 formation. He made penetrating runs, combined with teammates, and covered lots of space to give Vancouver defenders headaches.