The Portland Timbers Diego Valeri kicks a penalty shot during the first half of the match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium in San Jose on Saturday night (AP News photo)
By Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif- The Portland Timbers scored two goals in two minutes en route to a crushing 6-1 victory over the the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening at Earthquakes Stadium.
The Quakes are winless in its seven matches since the first phase started after the MLS is Back tournment. Portland had their second win in its last seven matches since winning the tournament.
Quakes head coach once again tinkered with his starting lineup due to numerous injuries to his squad. However, it didn’t produce the results he wished to have had. His defense have given up 14 goals in its last three matches.
The Timbers scored the opening goal when San Jose conceded a penalty kick in the 23rd minute due to a hand ball by Shae Salinas as he was trying to defend Christian Paredes inside the box.
After a short review, Diego Valeri cashed in the penalty kick with a kick into the lower left corner of the goal in 25th minute for his fourth goal of the season.
Portland (5-4-3) doubled its lead just over two minutes later. Jorge Villafaña centered a ball from the left side and Jeremy Ebobisse jumped up high with a header past Quakes goalkeeper Daniel Vega into the lower left corner in the 27th minute.
San Jose (2-5-5) responded right before halftime. Eric Calvillo sent a pass up to Marcos López and he centered the ball into the middle where Carlos Fierro slammed a left footed shot past Timbers goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic in the 43rd minute for his first ever goal in a Quakes uniform.
The Quakes had a golden opportunity to even the game a minute into stoppage time with a Jackson Yueill free kick from just outside the D but his passing attempt was grabbed by Ivacic.
Portland regained their two-goal lead 10 minutes into the second half. A cross from Yimmi Chará found the foot of Valeri whose shot deflected off two different Quakes defenders past Vega for his second goal of the match. Valeri has eight career goals against San Jose in 15 matches.
The Timbers put the game away in the 70th minute when a turnover by the Quakes led to a Ebobisse shot on goal that Vega got a piece of with a diving attempt. However, the rebound leaked out to Yimmi Chará, who made an easy tap in for his second goal in consecutive games against San Jose.
Portland put the icing on the cake late in the match. Valeri crossed in a ball off a free kick and an unmarked Julio Cascante headed the ball into the net for his first goal of the season in the 85th minute.
The Timbers finished off the scoring two minutes later when Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored his third goal of the season in the 87th minute. Diego Chará assisted on the goal.
Each goalie made three saves on the night.
GAME NOTES: San Jose had six corner kicks. Portland had five.
Portland had 18 total shots on goal. San Jose had 11.
San Jose won the possession battle 62%-38%.
UP NEXT: San Jose travels to Colorado to take on the Rapids on Wednesday 9/23 at 6:00pm at Dick’s Sporting Good Park.