PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers took advantage of one of their few opportunities on the night to produce a 1-0 victory Friday over the Colorado Rapids in a crucial matchup for both teams’ playoff positioning.
It was a 13th-minute Colorado giveaway in their own half that led to a classy Diego Valeri chip over goalkeeper Clint Irwin for the game’s only goal of the night in front of an enthusiastic capacity crowd at JELD-WEN Field.
And a somewhat disjointed Timbers side, playing with nearly a full compliment of healthy players for the first time in more than a month, was able to hold on against a furious Rapids attack throughout the remainder of the match.
With the victory, Portland leapfrogs not only previously third-place Colorado but the idle LA Galaxy, as well. The Timbers are now in third place in the Western Conference with 46 points from 29 games.
Colorado, which continued to experiment with their lineup with midfielders Martin Rivero and Nick LaBrocca back in the starting XI, fall to fourth with 45 points from 30 games.
The Rapids came close to the equalizer in the 62nd minute when Edson Buddle fired off a shot from the middle of the box that narrowly missed to the left. Dillon Powers also fired cleanly from the middle of the box in the 88th minute, but it went wide and the ensuing corner kick was cleaned up by Portland.
Ultimately, Portland applied just enough late pressure – firing off four shots in the final 20 minutes – to salt away the victory.
Earlier in the night, it was a choppy start for both teams.
And it cost the Rapids the game when a bad clearance by veteran Drew Moor was deflected by Timbers forward Rodney Wallace right to Valeri. And the Argentine knew just what to do with an open look at the goal, flipping a perfectly placed chip over Irwin.
Portland get another shot to improve their playoff positioning next Sunday when they play host to the Galaxy. Colorado have next weekend off before returning home Oct. 5 to play host to the Seattle Sounders.
Portland Timbers (11-5-13, 46pts) vs. Colorado Rapids (12-9-9, 45pts)
Sept. 20, 2013 – JELD-WEN Field (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Colorado Rapids 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Valeri (Wallace), 13
COL: Harris (Caution), 3
POR: Urruti (Caution), 45
POR: Alhassan (Caution), 90+1
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Jewsbury, D Danso, D Kah, D Harrington, M Chara, M Valeri (Alhassan, 73), M Johnson, W. ©, F Nagbe (Zemanski, 90), F Urruti (Johnson, R., 61), F Wallace
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kocic, D Jean-Baptiste, F Valencia, F Zizzo
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Urruti, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Urruti, Valeri, 1); FOULS: 15 (Urruti, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1
COL: GK Irwin, D Wynne, D O’Neill, D Moor ©, D Klute, M Thomas, M LaBrocca (Castrillon, 84), M Powers, M Rivero (Torres, 55), F Harris (Brown, 72), F Buddle
Substitutes Not Used: GK Pickens, D Mera, D Wallace, F Mwanga
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Five players, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 1 (Harris, 1); FOULS: 12 (Wynne, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 1
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Mike Rottersman, Fabian Tovar
4th Official: Jesus Cisneros
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Cloudy, 67 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial