PORTLAND, Ore. – Aritz Aduriz christened Valencia CF’s first US trip with a goal in their 1-0 victory Wednesday night over the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.
The Spanish La Liga side, fresh off a third-place finish in the 2011-12 season, put on an impressive first-half performance with eight shots in fast-paced action. The Timbers, who fielded a lineup of a number of starters despite a Cascadia rivalry game with Vancouver looming Saturday, gamely competed against the top-level club with five shots of their own in the first 45.
The back and forth first half finally resulted in a goal in the 41yst minute. A Valencia run of possession culminated in Aduriz receiving the ball at the top of the box. He took one touch to skirt Frank Songo’o and fired a right-footed bullet past a diving Troy Perkins.
Valencia nearly went up 2-0 three minutes later when Pablo curled around the defense on the left wing and played a perfect ball back to Aduriz. But Aduriz’s bouncing shot attempt was deflected over the bar.
But there would be no equalizer, despite a second half which saw 15 total shots and both sides emptying their benches.
The closest Portland got to evening the game came late in the game when second-half substitute Mike Fucito made a run into the teeth of the Valencia defense in the 84th minute. He laid off a cross for Bright Dike in the middle of the penalty area, but Dike’s shot was deflected out before it could reach the goal.
Ultimately, the Spanish side was up to the task as Portland made a final push for a goal.
Valencia’s swing stateside continues May 31 against the Houston Dynamo.
VCF: Aduriz, 41
POR: Horst (Caution), 31
VCF: Pardo (Caution), 63
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Perkins © (Bendik, 46), D Chabala (Purdy, 46), D Brunner (Jean-Baptiste, 46), D Horst (Taylor, 86), D Smith (Kawulok, 46), M Songo’o (Alexander, 46), M Nagbe (Fucito, 46), M Palmer (Braun, 46), F Zizzo (Wallace, 58), F Perlaza (Dike, 58), F Alhassan (Richards, 68)
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Five players, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Alhassan, Perlaza, 1); FOULS: 7 (Chabala, Perlaza, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 0
VCF: GK Alves, D Miguel (Johnson, 46), D Dealbert (Pardo, 46), D Ruiz, D Barragán, M Albelda ©, M Parejo (Costa, 70), M Pablo (Portu, 58), M Carles, F Piatti (Dalmau, 70), F Aduriz (Jonas, 58)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Guaita, D Mathieu
TOTAL SHOTS: 10 (Four players, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Aduriz, 1); FOULS: 7 (Piatti, 2); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 2
Referee: Allan Champman
Assistant Referees: Baboucarr Jallow, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Yader Reyes
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 62 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.