PORTLAND, OR. – Portland Timbers hosted LA Galaxy on Saturday afternoon. It was a big matchup in the MLS Western Conference that ultimately spoiled by a Derrick Williams red card.
Timbers Defeat Galaxy After Derrick Williams Red Card
The Timbers had the better of the play in the first half with Diego Valeri getting two very good chances. Ten minutes in, he scored on a through ball by Dairon Asprilla, but the Galaxy backline stepped up in time to make the Argentinian well offside. LA tried to create chances through Kévin Cabral making his first MLS start, but Chicharito Hernandez got few good looks.
The match tilted further in Portland’s favor just before halftime. Center back Derrick Williams went sliding into a challenge on Andy Polo with the ball in front of him. He took out Polo, sending him head over heels with no contact on the ball. Williams was sent off and Polo was subbed out.
Portland dominated the game in the second half. Two minutes in Felipe Mora buried a header with traffic in front of Jonathan Bond’s goal. The striker made it 2-0 at the hour mark. This time it was a header on a rebound after Jose Van Rankin hit the crossbar on a shot at the top of the box.
Diego Valeri capped off the game, and the avengement of Andy Polo, in the 69th minute. Rankin drew a penalty on Daniel Steres. Despite Valeri’s recent penalty woes, he converted, blasting the ball over a diving Bond.
The match ended 3-0. Polo was seen after the game using crutches.
— MLS Español (@MLSes) May 22, 2021
Three Key Takeaways:
Red cards dashes Galaxy hopes: The Gs were the lesser team leading up to the Williams red card. Chicharito hasn’t had a good time in Cascadia. They were bending but not breaking, but were broken by the red card.
No Timbers hattrick: I was shocked when the ABC broadcast mentioned that no Timbers player had recorded a hattrick in MLS play, ever. Mora could have taken the penalty to change that.
But, Valeri converts a penalty: Perhaps a Portland player getting a hattrick is an insignificant stat according to Giovanni Savarese. Maybe that’s why Valeri took the penalty. Having messed up big time from the penalty spot against Seattle recently, it must have felt good to convert.