What a match last night in Portland.
The Timbers and the Galaxy – knotted at 30 points each in the Western Conference heading into the match – met at Jeld-Wen field for an absolute cracker that Andrew Jean-Baptiste put the exclamation point on by hammering home a 94th minute header to give the Timbers a 2-1 victory.
Los Angeles opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Hector Jimenez put his cross on a silver platter for the on-rushing Marcel Sarvas, who expertly placed his header into the bottom corner.
Nine minutes later, the Timbers answered in clever fashion. With a re-start ten yards outside the right corner of the Galaxy box, Diego Valeri slipped a near post pass to Darlington Nagbe, who squared the ball to a wide open Ryan Johnson to slot home from two yards out.
Both sides pushed hard for the winner but Portland goalkeeper, Donovan Ricketts, who had no chance on Sarvas’ opener, produced a number of fine saves to deny the Galaxy.
In the 37th minute Ricketts athletically tipped Juninho’s top-corner bound free-kick over the bar in a save-of-the-year candidate. Four minutes later Gyasi Zardes looked in on goal but Ricketts saved in dramatic fashion yet again, bursting off his line to close down the forward with a sliding tackle.
With mere seconds remaining, Jean-Baptiste shook himself free of Zardes and rose strong to thunder home Valeri’s curling corner kick to hand the Timbers a massive three points.