Portland Timbers down FC Dallas, 2-0, to bolster playoff chances

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One game in 100 words: Although FC Dallas harbored the majority of possession in this contest, it was obvious that the Portland Timbers were fighting for a playoff spot, with their lively offensive attack in the match’s opening half paying off. But in the second half, the Toros switched the tables and strove to mount a comeback, only to find two chances they sunk into the net called offside. With this victory, the Timbers are currently two points ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps in the West’s fifth-place playoff spot, but the Caps still have to complete their match against the Colorado Rapids. Dallas, on the other hand, has secured fourth place in the conference and could’ve slid into third place with a triumph and Real Salt Lake loss.

 

Goals

Portland: Darlington Nagbe 43’, Maximiliano Urruti 82’

FC Dallas: None

 

Three moments that mattered

82’ — Urruti nails game-winner —  Gaston Ferandez cut back with a quick shot fake and then slipped a clever touch near the box to Maximiliano Urruti, who timed his run excellently to beat Dallas’ back line. Composure in front of the goal followed by a determined blast on the doorstep handed the Timbers playoff life once more.

43’ — Nagbe gets favorable deflection — Not a spectacular goal by any stretch, the Timbers and Darlington Nagbe, tight in the playoff race as regular season is just about finished, are definitely not complaining about this score. The Liberian-American took a bold, deep strike that oddly hit Zach Loyd, bounced into the ground and scorched into the net for the lead. This conversion marked Nagbe’s very first goal this season.

36’ — Ricketts prevents first-half deficit — Jamaican defender Je-Vaughn Watson hit a near-perfect cross into the penalty area, and Toros forward David Texeira, watching the pass loop toward frame, inched toward the goal, and then connected well with his head. Portland goalie Donovan Ricketts was on his toes, however, and dove hard to the near post in order to threat the very threatening try. The score was level, 0-0, at this point in the match, and seven minutes later, any momentum gained by Dallas was impeded.

 

Lineups

Portland: Donovan Ricketts; Alvas Powell (Michael Harrington 84’), Pa Modou Kah, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafana; Darlington Nagbe, Ben Zemanski, Diego Chara, Rodney Wallace; Diego Valeri (Gaston Fernandez HT), Fanendo Adi (Maximiliano Urruti 69’)

FC Dallas: Chris Seitz; Je-Vaughn Watson, Zach Loyd, Matt Hedges, Kellyn Acosta (Mauro Diaz 65’); Andres Escobar, Victor Ulloa, Michel, Fabian Castillo; David Texeira (Tesho Akindele 73’), Blas Perez (Coy Craft 84’)