The game in 100 words (or less): It takes quite a performance to make FC Dallas look that ordinary (the slightly smaller field at Providence Park never hurts, either), and the Portland Timbers delivered just that on Saturday night. Darlington Nagbe ran the show, as is becoming the norm for Caleb Porter’s side, and the defense held FCD to two decent chances all night long. Fabian Castillo had little to no impact on the game, Blas Perez started on the bench and Mauro Diaz was disappointingly absent once again.
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Three moments that mattered
23′ — Borchers opens his Timbers account — Poor, poor marking from FCD lead to Nat Borchers, one of the best center backs in MLS, having a free header all alone at the back post. Jorge Villafana’s corner kick was perfectly place and all Borchers had to do was head it downward.
30′ — Akindele benefits from more poor marking — Michel took the corner kick, Atiba Harris got some kind of a touch on the ball to flick it on and Tesho Akindele redirected it home. This is the kind of defending and marking you don’t really expect from the Timbers…until the 80th minute or later.
62′ — Urruti poaches to reclaim to the lead — Nagbe put Dairon Asprilla into acres of space, and while the Colombian’s near-post cross was destined for the hands of Chris Seitz, Maximiliano Urruti jumped in the way to flick the ball over Seitz and into the back of the net.
Man of the match: Diego Chara — He’s the glue holding the Timbers midfield together with Diego Valeri and Will Johnson missing through long-term injuries. His work rate was outstanding again and his 87th-minute goal was taken better than 90 percent of MLS’s forwards could do.
Portland Timbers: Kwarasey, Powell, Borchers, Ridgewell, Villafana, Nagbe, Fochive (Fernandez 93′), Chara, Wallace (Asprilla 61′), Urruti (Jewsbury 81′), Adi
Goals: Borchers (23′), Urruti (62′), Chara (87′)
FC Dallas: Seitz, Loyd, Hedges, Zimmerman, Harris (Barrios 87′), Michel, Ulloa, Hollingshead (Watson 69′), Castillo, Akindele, Texeira (Perez 62′)
Goals: Akindele (29′)