Portland Timbers 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 0 | 2020 MLS Match Recap
The result vaults the Timbers into the top spot in the Western Conference, where they sit at 38 points from 21 matches for an average of 1.81 points per game, while the Whitecaps will now need a Decision Day miracle to salvage a postseason spot.
Good chances were hard to come by for much of the night as the Whitecaps managed to make life difficult for the Timbers attack. The Timbers had perhaps the best opportunity of a sluggish first half in the 14th minute, when Pablo Bonilla sent in a dangerous ball that found Larrys Mabiala for a shot on goal, but Whitecaps goalkeeper Evan Bush was up to the task, making a reaction save to deny the center back the opener.
Portland would find the breakthrough in the 61st minute, though, after Jorge Villafaña whipped in a cross that allowed Yimmi Chara to tee up a clinical volley that he rifled past Bush and into the net.
The Whitecaps had a great look at a potential equalizer in the 80th minute off a shot from Lucas Cavallini that the Canadian international put on frame off a cross from Ali Adnan. But Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark made the save, and the Timbers would see out the 1-0 final.
The Timbers were dealt an injury scare to monitor in the coming days in second-half stoppage time, when Polish forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda went down after a collision with a defender and left the field on a stretcher.
- 61' - POR - Yimmi Chara | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's a big blow to Vancouver's campaign for one of the final playoff spots in the West, as the 'Caps will now need to pick up three points on Decision Day to have a chance at catching the San Jose Earthquakes. It wasn't exactly a dominant display for Portland, but it was a professional performance nonetheless, and Gio Savarese's group are a deserved candidate for that coveted No. 1 seed in the West.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: It's the winner from Yimmi Chara, which was the only goal of the match, and a well-taken finish from the Colombian winger.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: We'll stay on that theme. Yimmi Chara is in great form right now, with the winner on Sunday following up his four-assist effort in Portland's last match against the LA Galaxy. The brother of Diego is proving to be quite the formidable weapon in his own right.