VANCOUVER, B.C. - Despite strong play throughout a Cascadia Cup rivalry match, the Portland Timbers (0-1-3; 3 points) lost to the Vancouver Whitecaps (3-1-0; 9 points) 2-1 at B.C. Place on Saturday night.
The match proved to be a much tamer affair than recent meetings between the Cascadia rivals, especially their preseason clash just less than a month ago that resulted in 43 combined fouls and two Timbers ejections.
Portland had the best of the early chances, and Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted did well to get across his goal and turn a low 20 yarder from George Fochive around the post four minutes in.
But the Whitecaps took the lead in the 15th minute.
Octavio Rivero was brought down on the edge of the box. His fellow Uruguayan, Mezquida, stepped up to take the free kick, taking time to have a look around the wall first before placing a curling shot past Timbers ‘keeper Adam Kwarasey and into the bottom left corner.
The Timbers dominated play for the rest of the half and the start of the second with Vancouver looking happy to sit back and soak up the pressure. Whitecaps 'keeper David Ousted was forced to come up with a dramatic sprawling save to keep out a thunderous shot from Darlington Nagbe with 20 minutes of the match remaining.
The visitors finally got the reward their play deserved in the 82nd minute when Ousted got a hand on Rodney Wallace's low ball across goal but only managed to deflect it into the path of Adi, who made no mistake in hitting home from a few yards out to tie things up.
The Whitecaps raised their tempo in the closing moments, but it was the Timbers who had two great chances in the 89th and 90th minutes. First midfielder Dairon Asprilla snapped a header down that bounced off the turf and over the bar, then Adi fired point blank a minute later forcing a reflex save from Ousted that maintained the 1-1 scoreline.
The save proved crucial as Vancouver broke quickly. Morales slipped in Earnshaw, the veteran striker signed earlier this week who came on in the 87th minute, and he delicately chipped the ball over Kwarasey for the winner.
Both teams now face tough home games next Saturday against Western Conference rivals, with Vancouver hosting the LA Galaxy and Portland playing host to FC Dallas.
Portland Timbers (0-1-3, 3pts) at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (3-1-0, 9pts)
March 28, 2015 – BC Place (Vancouver, B.C.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 1 1 2
VAN: Mezquida, 15
POR: Adi, 82
VAN: Earnshaw (Morales), 90+1
VAN: Koffie (Caution), 12
POR: Powell (Caution), 30
VAN: Beitashour (Caution), 58
VAN: Waston (Caution), 87
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Villafaña, M Nagbe, M Chara, M Fochive (Fernández, 75), M Wallace, F Urruti (Asprilla, 65), F Adi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Jeanderson, D Paparatto, D Peay, M Besler
TOTAL SHOTS: 15 (Three players tied, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Adi, 2); FOULS: 13 (Adi, Urruti, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1
VAN: GK Ousted, D Beitashour, D Waston, D Kah, D Adekugbe, M Koffie (Flores, 72), M Laba, M Mezquida (Froese, 58), M Morales, M Hurtado (Earnshaw, 87), F Rivero
Substitutes Not Used: GK Tornaghi, D Harvey, D Parker, D Sampson
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Morales, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Mezquida, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 4
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Michael Kampmeinert, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Cloudy, 54 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial