MLS Snapshot: Timbers waste Valeri’s stunner, give up late NE equalizer

Pete Christopher//The Oregonian via AP
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The game in 100 words (or less): For 180 seconds, the Portland Timbers found themselves under pressure and on their heels. Eventually, the New England Revolution’s two early scoring chances came and went without any real harm done. The same couldn’t be said for Diego Valeri’s stunning side-volley nine minutes later. For 70 minutes, Portland were in cruise control, dominating the run of play through prolonged periods of possession, but stalling once time came to hit the final box into the box. New England managed to create very little, until Jake Gleeson’s goalkeeping gaffe gifted Lee Nguyen the easiest goal he’ll score all season. Portland might be the most talented team in MLS, but their inability to close out games from a winning position comes back to bite them again and again and again.

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Three Two moments that mattered

12′ — Valeri unleashes a perfect side-volley — For about a year now, I’ve calling Diego Valeri “the MLS god.” He forces me to do it just about every other game.

84′ — Gleeson spills, Nguyen pounces — Gleeson has to hold onto the ball in this situation. If he doesn’t, the absolute last thing he can do with it is to palm it into the path of Nguyen. About that…

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Men of the match: Diego Valeri

Goalscorers: Valeri (12′), Nguyen (84′)