Y. Chara, Asprilla score 2-1 away win for Timbers over LAFC


The Portland Timbers beat LAFC 2-1 at Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday night. Yimmi Chara and Dairon Asprilla scored to give the Timbers their first win at Banc of California Stadium and third in a row, extending their unbeaten streak to seven.

LAFC tried to impose their will on the game in the first half, as they were inclined to do. LAFC spent most of the early stages seeking to retain possession and dictate play, its primary tool being its patented high press. Their quick and dangerous front line would seek to put pressure on the Portland back line, trying to force the Timbers into dangerous turnovers.

Portland struggled with the pressure at first. In the opening phase of the game, the Portland forwards were forced to play the ball back or to the side and when a midfielder found a bit of a buy on the pitch, a LAFC player would quickly be out. there to force them to make a rushed or poorly played pass. . The Timbers only managed one shot on target until the 34th minute.

As the offense stuttered to start the match, the defense was resolute. LAFC controlled the lion’s share of possession, but the Timbers were able to limit dangerous opportunities for the most part. While LAFC had eight shots in the first half and two on target, Portland was able to limit its expected goals value to just 0.4.

That’s not to say that the first forty-five minutes were devoid of opportunities. Both teams found attacking opportunities towards the end of the half as the game began to open. Portland was able to find more space and opportunity as they slowly and steadily progressed through the game.

In the 23rd minute, Sebastian Blanco found space for the first time in the game and crossed into an open goal. The pass narrowly missed a Portland forward. Dairon Asprilla had a golden chance to give the Timbers the lead with a one-on-one scoring chance, but he couldn’t keep his chip attempt on target.

On the other hand, LAFC found itself with a breakaway opportunity in the 40th minute. A fantastic defensive pursuit from Cristhian Paredes kept Portland from giving up the opening goal.

As the first half drew to a close, he looked doomed to be scoreless at the break. But as the game went into stoppage time in the first half, Portland would have one last chance that came out of nothing and that would end in something big: the first goal.

Steve Clark launched a goal kick all the way down the pitch to find an open Blanco, who recovered and sent the ball towards Asprilla. After settling the ball, Asprilla drove inside and handed the ball to Yimmi Chara. The pass was behind him but Yimmi did well to adapt and shoot a first shot. He got past Blackman’s outstretched arm and snuck to the far post to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.

Right at the end of the first half, the Timbers scored a goal to take control of the game. They were going to need it.

LAFC started the second half with lightning speed. They did a triple submarine to try to relaunch their attack and it paid off. The first five minutes of the second half were defined by LAFC invading Portland’s area, creating decent chances and sending in dangerous crosses.

The first mark of bad luck, and perhaps the most important, came in the 51st minute. Blanco, who had fallen earlier in the game with what appeared to be a problem with his right leg, came down to the turf after the game, carefully holding his left knee. He waved to the bench and couldn’t continue. He hesitantly walked away, putting weight on his left leg.

The misfortune would continue, as LAFC would break through the Timbers’ defense and equalize in the 56th minute. Paredes lost the ball in transition to the Portland side and LAFC quickly capitalized by bringing in substitute Danny Musovski. From a tight angle, he grazed a shot past Clark in the far corner of the goal, to make a whole.

The Timbers wouldn’t wait long to restore their goal advantage. In the 60th minute, substitute Diego Valeri played a ball for Mora. LAFC defenseman Jesus Murillo misread the pass and Felipe Mora slipped it in to enter at the end of the pass. Entering, he released his shot from the near post. The opportunity seemed lost but the ball fell directly on the rushing Asprilla. Asprilla absolutely crushed the ball in the net. Portland took the lead 2-1 with a Dairon rocket.

The remainder of the second half would be marked by breaths and puffs from LAFC and another attempt to blow up the Portland defense. And throughout the second period, the defensive home of the Timbers held their ground. The Timbers did a commendable job of keeping their lines tight, being smart at the break and forcing the hosts to make chippy fouls that helped slow play in Portland’s favor.

Despite LAFC’s advantage in possession, Portland limited them to just five shots in the second half, and only one on target (LAFC equalizer). The final whistle sounded and Portland had beaten LAFC 2-1, for the third time this season by the same score.

This is another solid victory for Portland, which hasn’t lost on the road since August 21. That brings his unbeaten run to seven and keeps Portland in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with a four-point cushion. Portland will have a chance to add to that cushion when it faces Inter Miami for the first time in Portland on Sunday.

But Sebastian Blanco’s injury weighs heavily on the victory. Blanco’s impact on this team since his return simply cannot be overstated – it has been immense. The severity of his injury and his expected return schedule, which are currently unknown, could turn this victory into a Pyrrhic victory. And that could have huge implications for the rest of the season.

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