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Portland Timbers 3, Columbus Crew SC 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap

The Portland Timbers rebounded from their loss on the road last weekend to post a confident 3-2 win over Columbus Crew SC on Wednesday at Providence Park.

Both teams, playing the first of two games this week, rotated their lineups, with Columbus making substantial changes to their players. And while Crew SC took an early lead, Portland came back to wrestle control of proceedings and pick up a key three points for their playoff prospects.

Columbus opened the scoring just seven minutes in, as Niko Hansen turned in Milton Valenzuela's low cross inside the box. But David Guzman tied up the game, with a header from just outside the six-yard box off Andy Polo's cross, 11 minutes later.

Polo scored in the 37th minute to put the home side ahead, as he helped initiate a counterattack and then finished it, first trying to head the ball across the goalmouth and then after it was initially blocked, using a karate-style kick to poke the ball in from a tight angle.

That lead was extended four minutes into the second half, as Samuel Armenteros' cross/shot was deflected into the net by Columbus defender Lalas Abubakar.

With the game seemingly out of hand, Hansen scored his second goal of the game at the death as a final consolation.

 

Goals

  • 7' – CLB – Niko Hansen | WATCH
  • 18' – POR – David Guzman | WATCH
  • 37' – POR – Andy Polo | WATCH
  • 49' – POR – Lalas Abubakar (OG) | WATCH
  • 90+3' – CLB – Niko Hansen | WATCH

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The Timbers had been in danger of slipping below the playoff line altogether in recent weeks, but this result moved them up the Western Conference and away from danger. And Columbus started well but faded badly after the first 15 minutes or so, after they could have credibly taken a 3-1 lead themselves if not for some wayward finishing.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Polo's effort was impressive on his goal, but in slow motion, you really see the impressive kung fu finish in all its glory.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Polo has not lived up to his considerable potential so far this season, but this game, and his first half in particular, showed that he could be dangerous and productive, as he racked up a goal -- his first in MLS -- and an assist.

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