PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers moved into first place in Group 5 of the CONCACAF Champions League with an overwhelming performance in a 6-0 victory over Alpha United on a drizzly Tuesday night at Providence Park.
The Guyanese club, having already been eliminated from the competition with losses in their first three games including a 4-1 defeat to the Timbers back in August, were clearly outclassed by their MLS competition – surely exacerbated by their 4,700-mile trip from Georgetown, Guyana on South America’s northeastern coast.
The Timbers can win the group and advance to the quarterfinals with a win, draw or even a loss by one goal, before other tiebreaking scenarios come into play, over CD Olimpia in the teams’ group finale Oct. 21 in Honduras.
With the Timbers fielding an experienced XI, it didn’t take long for them to take control.
In the 11th minute, Jewsbury got on the end of a Michael Harrington cross from the left wing and the Timbers veteran did the rest, rolling his finish just inside the far post for his first goal of 2014 and first since the 2012 season.
The Timbers added on before the halftime whistle when Maximiliano Urruti found Fernández on a charging run in front of the goal. Fernández fended off an Alpha defender and one-timed into the roof of the net to make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.
Four minutes out of the break, Portland made it 3-0 following a short corner to Ben Zemanski who then slid a ball to Nanchoff on the right wing. Nanchoff then unleashed a left-footed blast to the far post.
Portland struck on another corner in the 61st minute, with Nanchoff taking the set piece and the goal coming off the head of Paparatto.
Adi’s goal came in the 75th minute when fellow substitute Rodney Wallace found him in front of the goal with a short cross, and with a defender draped on his back the big Nigerian striker spun and fired left-footed past goalkeeper Ronson Williams and into the top of the goal.
Paparatto headed home another Nanchoff corner in the 88th minute to complete the scoring.
Alpha did have two good chances in the game, but were let down by their finishes.
In the 23rd minute, a long free kick fell to a wide-open Aldair Paredes, but his shot rolled just wide.
Their best chance came in the 58th minute when Paredes came away with a turnover in midfield and skipped past two Timbers defenders for a one-on-one with Jake Gleeson. But the Timbers' third-string goalkeeper was equal to the task, turning away the shot with a diving save.
Portland return to action with a league match Saturday on the road against Toronto FC.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.
CONCACAF Champions League – Group 5
Portland Timbers (3-0-0, 9pts) vs. Alpha United FC (0-4-0, 0pts)
Sept. 23, 2014 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Alpha United FC 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 2 4 6
POR: Jewsbury (Harrington), 11
POR: Fernández (Urruti), 36
POR: Nanchoff (Zemanski), 49
POR: Paparatto (Nanchoff), 61
POR: Adi (Wallace), 75
POR: Paparatto (Nanchoff), 88
POR: Jewsbury (Caution), 38
POR: Wallace (Caution), 89
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Gleeson, D Peay, D Paparatto, D McKenzie, D Harrington, M O’Rourke, M Zemanski, M Jewsbury © (Wallace, 62), M Nanchoff, F Fernández (Fochive, 79), F Urruti (Adi, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Powell, M Johnson, F Tshuma
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (Adi, Fernández, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Four players tied, 2); FOULS: 18 (Jewsbury, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 3
ALU: GK Williams, D Camacho, D Oliveira, D Murilo, D Jack, D Madramootoo (Moffat, 59), M Duckworth, M Paredes, M Vargas, F Jacobs (Ellis, 81), F Peters © (Wilson, 60)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Richards, M Benfield, F Primo, F Richardson
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Paredes, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 12 (Vargas, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 4
Referee: Ricardo Montero Araya
Assistant Referees: Warner Castro, Juan Augusto Lemus
4th Official: Jafeth Perea
Time of Game: n/a
Weather: Rain, 66 degrees
All CONCACAF statistics contained in this box score are unofficial