Chara goal boosts Timbers to first

Portland tops Vancouver 1-0 entering final week
By Cliff Pfenning, oregonsports.com
Yimmi Chara's second-half goal ended up the lone score of the game Sunday.
AP photo

PORTLAND - Yimmi Chara followed a historic game of passing off goals to scoring one Sunday, leading the Portland Timbers to a 1-0 victory over Vancouver and to the top spot in the Western Conference with just two matches remaining in the regular season.

Chara, who tied an MLS record with four assists in a 5-2 win Wednesday over the LA Galaxy, smashed home a cross from Jorge Villafana in the 61st minute and the Timbers survived a late surge from the Whitecaps to move atop the Western Conference just ahead of Sporting Kansas City.

Portland improved to 11-5-5 for 38 points, and to 1.81 points per match which the league moved to determine which eight teams would qualify for the playoffs as every team will not finish with the same number of matches due to COVID-19 issues causing postponements. Kansas City sits at 1.80 and 36 points, but having played 20 matches - one less than Portland.

The Seattle Sounders sit in third with 35 points and 1.75 per match, but also with 20 matches.

Portland plays host to Colorado Wednesday, then plays at LAFC Sunday, when the regular season will wind down.

Vancouver entered Sunday's match having scored just 24 goals in 21 matches, and averaging a league low eight shots per match. The defensive nature of the match kept Portland from many scoring chances until the hour mark when a build-up on the right side switched to the left and Villafana scorched a cross from the end line to Chara, who powered home a shot for his fourth goal of the season. Villafana's assist was his fifth of the year.

The Whitecaps finished with a 12-11 edge in shots, but only two of them needed a save from Portland's Steve Clark, and he earned his fifth shutout of the season and second over Vancouver.

 

 

 

Comments