Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter
General thoughts on the result:
“We talked about all week, the first 15 minutes, it’s always crucial when you’re on the road you’re playing a team that knows they need two goals, we knew they would be aggressive, we knew they had a good attacking team with good individual players and the worst-case scenario happened – we gave up two goals in the first five minutes. To our guys’ credit, I thought we were the better team after that through the first half and then the start of the second half we get the goal to go 2-1 and now we’re in the drivers’ seat and then we concede a goal a minute later. At this level, to win these types of games in these types of situations, it has to be better. The process of evolving as a club takes time and it takes experiences like this , unfortunately we suffer today, but we’ll be better next time we’re in this situation.”
On if the team was surprised by Olimpia’s squad and tactics:
“With the exception of one player, we had pretty much the lineup we felt they would play. We knew they would come out aggressive. We knew the system they play, we knew their tendencies. We weren’t surprised by anything we saw. We just didn’t deal with it as well as we should have. For me, it goes back to the first five minutes, conceding two goals. That was always going to be a very important part of this match and we didn’t manage that part of the game well and we didn’t manage the game well when we went 2-1, we conceded again. What I would say is at the end of the game even though we had conceded three goals, we have to find a way to get the second goal because getting that goal would have meant we were through. Ultimately, we beat them 4-2 at home, they beat us 3-1 so similar score lines, and 5-5 in aggregate, but they get the tiebreaker on the away goals.”
On balancing the match with Saturday’s league game:
“All along going into this week, we didn’t want to sacrifice this competition, or the league. Obviously with this game we were in a great position, but we knew also we had a game on Saturday that if we won we would have a chance to get into the playoffs. We rested seven players but we still felt we could get the result, at the end of the day we fell short and now we have to focus our energy on Saturday and put this behind us. Fortunately, we have seven key players, guys that have been regular starting players that are fresh. Unfortunately, we had hoped to get the result this game and be able to go into the next game with those same players available and ready. But nothing changes, we have to move on.”
- Despite finishing the group stage tied on points (9) with C.D. Olimpia, the Timbers were eliminated from the competition based on the away goals tiebreaker (2-1).
- Defender Liam Ridgewell made his CONCACAF Champions League debut on Tuesday against C.D. Olimpia.
- Midfielder Ben Zemanski registered his first career CONCACAF Champions League goal for Portland on Tuesday, and his first goal for the Timbers in all competitions in 2014.
- Forward Maximiliano Urruti made his fourth consecutive CONCACAF Champions League start on Tuesday. Urruti was the only Timbers player to start all four group-stage matches.
- Midfielder Diego Valeri made his CONCACAF Champions League debut on Tuesday, entering the game as a halftime substitute for midfielder Kalif Alhassan.
- Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson made his second consecutive CONCACAF Champions League start for Portland on Tuesday. Gleeson started and played 90 minutes in a 6-0 win over Alpha United FC on Sept. 23 at Providence Park.
- Portland’s 15 goals in four CONCACAF Champions League games ranks tied for second most among all 24 teams in the competitions group stage.