COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – A flurry of goals in the game’s final minutes helped sort out a Western Conference showdown between the Colorado Rapids on Saturday night, with the visiting Portland Timbers arising victorious in a 2-1 win on the wings of a stoppage time goal from Jack Jewsbury. The win vaulted the Timbers above the red line and into sixth place in the conference.
Fresh off of Wednesday night’s 1-0 home win over DC United, the visitors surprisingly looked to be the team with fresher legs, creating the lion’s share of attacking chances in the opening stanza.
The Rapids held a slight edge with 51.7 percent of the game’s first-half possession, but the Timbers were more dynamic on the ball, peppering Colorado’s net with 13 shots (four on target).
The hard work by Caleb Porter’s side paid off in the 38th minute, when some fancy footwork from Maximiliano Urruti opened up space for Gastón Fernández, who buried the low strike past Clint Irwin for the 1-0 lead. It was all part of a busy night for Irwin, who ended the half with three saves.
At the start of the second half, Rapids head coach Pablo Mastroeni looked to match the Timbers’ offensive intensity, subbing in playmaker Dillon Powers. Despite the insertion of Powers, and the bringing on of a fresh legged Luis Solignac for Kevin Doyle, the Rapids attack did little to test Portland for much of the second half.
Just when a Portland win seemed all but a lock, Sam Cronin found the equalizer for Colorado in the 90th minute, appearing to salvage a point for the Rapids.
But the game wasn’t over. Three minutes of stoppage time was just enough for the Timbers to take back all three points, as Jewsbury gave Portland a 2-1 lead with his goal just before the final whistle. Axel Sjoberg had pushed up to forward to find the winner, which left the Rapids backline vulnerable. Rodney Wallace found Ishmael Yartey in the box who was able to push the ball to an open Jewsbury and the veteran calmly slotted the ball in the back of the net.
Both sides will enter their next match with a full week’s rest. The Timbers return to Providence Park next Saturday to host the New England Revolution. The Rapids will take to the road next Sunday to face Rocky Mountain Cup rivals Real Salt Lake.
Portland Timbers (5-5-4, 19pts) at Colorado Rapids (2-4-7, 13pts)
May 30, 2015 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
Colorado Rapids 0 1 1
POR: Fernández (Urruti), 38
COL: Cronin (Pittinari, Solignac), 89
POR: Jewsbury (Wallace, Yartey), 90+3
POR: Jewsbury (Caution), 42
COL: Sam Cronin (Caution), 44
COL: James Riley (Caution), 46
COL: Axel Sjoberg (Caution), 59
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Villafaña, M Fochive, M Jewsbury, M Nagbe (Wallace, 58), M Fernández (Adi, 71), M Asprilla, F Urruti (Yartey, 88)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Jeanderson, D Paparatto, D Peay
COL: GK Irwin, D Riley, D Moor ©, D Sjoberg, D Harrington, M Cronin, M LaBrocca (Pittinari, 71), M Sánchez (Powers, 46), M Doyle (Solignac, 55), M Ramírez, F Torres
Substitutes Not Used: GK MacMath, D Burling, M Watts, F Eloundou
Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Kermit Quisenberry, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Drew Fischer
Time of Game: n/a
Weather: Sunny, 70 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial.