Home Actualité internationale World news – US – Diego Valeri scores a brace as Portland Timbers return to form, pummel San Jose Earthquakes 6-1
Actualité internationale

World news – US – Diego Valeri scores a brace as Portland Timbers return to form, pummel San Jose Earthquakes 6-1

Goals from five different goal-scorers lifted the Timbers to their best performance in weeks.

The Portland Timbers emerged from a haze of poor results Saturday in a win over the San Jose Earthquakes that had the Timbers finally resembling the team that won the MLS is Back tournament more than a month ago.

A pair of goals from Diego Valeri — plus goals from four other players — buoyed the Timbers to a 6-1 thumping over the Quakes in one of the Timbers’ best performances since the MLS regular season resumed in August.

Coming into Saturday, the Timbers (5-4-3, 18 points) had won just once in six games since the MLS is Back competition ended, but their win in San Jose was a welcome return to form. It was the Timbers’ first time scoring six goals in an MLS game.

“It was a tremendous performance besides the goals,” head coach Giovanni Savarese said. “The way the team worked hard to make sure we covered every space — they followed everything we asked them to do.”

Jeremy Ebobisse scored his sixth goal of 2020 on a powerful header in the 27th minute. Left back Jorge Villafana curled a dangerous ball into the box, and Ebobisse rose above everyone to drive it toward the goalmouth.

His goal doubled the Timbers’ lead after Valeri scored on a penalty kick two minutes earlier.

Valeri calmly tucked his spot kick into the low left corner of goal, just outside the reach of goalkeeper Daniel Vega, who had guessed the correct way. Cristhian Paredes earned the penalty when he flicked a ball off Shea Salinas’s hand in the box.

Paredes nearly opened his 2020 goal-scoring account one minute earlier with an open strike in the box, but he was denied by a brave kick-save from Vega, who came way out of goal.

Earthquakes midfielder Carlos Fierro fired a sensational one-time strike in the 44th minute off a cross to pull one back for the Quakes.

But Valeri scored the Timbers’ third goal in the 57th minute on a one-time shot that deflected off two Quakes defenders before beating Vega in goal, all but assuring Timbers’ victory. The Timbers, however, did not stop there.

Yimmi Chara scored in the 78th minute, pouncing on an Ebobisse shot that Vega spilled. Julio Cascante scored in the 85th minute off a Valeri corner kick. It was Cascante’s first goal for the Timbers. Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored in the 87th minute.

“Every time you find three points anywhere, home or away, is the tranquility after the match,” Savarese said. “The fact that we still continue to go down a path, that the players get confidence, and can continue to build from this type of performance, today was very important for us.”

For the Timbers, the win moved them up to a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference standings with an expected 11 matches remaining in the regular season, although the full schedule hasn’t yet been announced. For the last-placed Earthquakes (2-5-5, 11 points), the loss puts the playoffs in serious doubt as time is running out to turn things around.

Fans were not allowed to attend the game due to the deadly coronavirus pandemic but diehard Quakes fans continued their tradition of watching from their cars outside Avaya Stadium, honking their horns at key moments in the game.

Saturday’s match was a rare repeat that saw the Timbers return to San Jose after having just faced the Earthquakes there three days earlier in a 1-1 draw. That Wednesday game had been postponed due to player protests throughout MLS, forcing the scheduling quirk of back-to-back trips to Northern California for the Timbers.

Unlike Wednesday’s match, the Timbers came into Saturday having trained outside to prepare. Wildfire smoke throughout Portland had begun to subside by Friday thanks to rain, allowing the Timbers to do short training sessions outdoors for the first time since hazardous air quality blanketed the city last week.

Despite the two games close together and cleaner air in California, the Timbers could not stay in San Jose overnight due to COVID-related restrictions for the MLS regular season. Teams must arrive and depart the same day of games via charter flights or bus.

“It’s been a tough week but Gio gave us the day off tomorrow,” Valeri said, chuckling. “So, we are gonna rest well.”

The Quakes made six changes to their starting line-up from Wednesday while the Timbers made eight changes.

Slovenian goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic, who joined the Timbers last year, made his MLS debut. He recorded two huge back-to-back saves in the 42nd minute, denying Fierro and then Nick Lima in quick succession.

The Timbers shifted from a 4-3-3 formation they used Wednesday to a 4-2-3-1 as Valeri returned to the line-up in his advanced attacking midfield position. Ebobisse started up top for the first time in five matches after being deployed wide in a winger role to make way for new designated player Jaroslaw Niezgoda.

“We were more aggressive in the attack and we created more chances,” Valeri said of the difference between Wednesday’s draw and Saturday’s blowout win. “Even in the first half, we could score more goals and in the end we were very efficient.”

The Timbers have struggled defensively, allowing 10 goals in the final 15 minutes of games this season. But on Wednesday, they managed to concede just once in the 1-1 draw, breaking a worrying streak of allowing multiple goals per game. Saturday’s 6-1 win continued that positive trend.

Up next, the Timbers host their Cascadia rivals, the Seattle Sounders, Wednesday at Providence Park without fans. Four days later, the Timbers host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Providence Park as the away team because the Whitecaps cannot host American teams in Canada due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission.

Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20).

© 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. All rights reserved (About Us). The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local.

SOURCE: https://www.w24news.com/news/world-news-us-diego-valeri-scores-a-brace-as-portland-timbers-return-to-form-pummel-san-jose-earthquakes-6-1/?remotepost=300882

[quads id=1]