The Timbers are now undefeated in their last five matches after taking down LAFC 2-1 on Sunday evening at Providence Park. Entering the match, LAFC was one point behind the Timbers in the Western Conference, with the result Portland moves to fifth while LAFC sits below the playoff line.
When Portland beat LAFC 2-1 in July, Portland got on the board first and did the same Sunday. A ball was sent into Felipe Mora and play trickled over to Sebastian Blanco whose header hit the crossbar when Dairon Asprilla was able to bang in the loose ball in the 21st minute.
Now trailing, LAFC brought the pressure quickly forcing Larrys Mabiala into a yellow card on a dangerous part of the pitch. The card was his sixth of the season signifying a suspension for the next game. It had a massive significance at the moment because Blanco committed a handball in the box off the LAFC set piece. LAFCs talented Colombian Striker Christian Arango converted the ensuing penalty to knot the game up seven minutes after trailing.
The play in the first half was accurately represented by the 1-1 score: each team had even chances, possession was split 51-49 in the Timbers favor, and the squads each registered seven shots.
LAFC began the following half better and Jose Cifuentes nearly scored from 40-yards out, drilling the crossbar on a strong shot instead. Giovanni Savarese responded to LAFCs strong second-half start with two subs, George Fochive and Diego Valeri. While Valeri is the legendary Timber attacker, it was George Fochive who secured the game-winner in the 68th minute.
It was just the second goal of Fochive’s Timber career but surely the better of the two considering the first came in a heavy loss to Seattle.
Portland looks to continue their 5-game unbeaten streak next Saturday at home against Real Salt Lake.