The game in 100 words (or less): Darlington Nagbe bagged a first-half brace as the Portland Timbers routed the Colorado Rapids, 4-1 on “Decision Day,” officially booking their place in the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs and a home date versus Sporting Kansas City in the knockout round. Jorge Villafana and Fanendo Adi added goals of their own, more than canceling out Dominique Badji’s early equalizer of Nagbe’s first. With the win on Sunday, Caleb Porter’s Timbers finish third in the Western Conference a year after missing out on the playoffs.
Three moments that mattered
5′ — Nagbe hammers a free kick for 1-0 — Nagbe hit this free kick as sweet and true as one can do. Zac MacMath had nary a chance to make the save. An absolute peach.
33′ — Nagbe heads home, bags his brace — Lucas Melano dropped the cross right onto the head of Nagbe, who from this range still had quite a bit to do, but the flicked, looping header was so perfectly placed that MacMath was helpless yet again.
63′ — Villafana credited after deflection, 3-1 Timbers — The finish itself wasn’t all that spectacular, but the build-up play to Villafana’s goal in the 63rd minute was quite pleasing to the eye. With the Rapids playing for nothing at this point, 3-1 was an insurmountable scoreline.
Man of the match: Darlington Nagbe
Goalscorers: Nagbe (5′, 33′), Badji (13′), Villafana (63′), Adi (88′)