San Jose Earthquakes forward Andres Rios heads the futbol away as the Portland Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma (25) is right behind to defend at Pay Pal Park in San Jose on Sat May 15, 2021 (AP News photo)
by Marko Ukalovic
SAN JOSE, Calif–Missed opportunities were theme of the match as the Portland Timbers defeated the San Jose Earthquakes in a 2-0 shutout on Saturday evening at Pay Pal Park.
San Jose have lost two games in a row after starting the season winning three of its first four games. Portland snapped its three game losing streak.
Portland (2-3-1) drew first blood early in the first half. Eyrk Williamson dribbled in from 20 yards out and found Yimmi Charra who chipped the ball over Quakes goalkeeper JT Marcinkowski for his first goal of the season in the 5th minute.
Quakes head coach Matias Almedya made numerous changes to his starting lineup. Paul Marie was back in the starting lineup at left back for San Jose after suffering an injury. Oswaldo Alanis returned back to center back. Andy Rios started in place for Chofis at forward.
San Jose (3-3-0) played a sloppy first half where the team weren’t in sync when trying to attack throughout the half. Numerous careless, nonchalant passes led to turnovers and counter attacks by Portland that turned into scoring chances for the visiting team.
Despite having a two-thirds to one-third advantage in possession play, San Jose weren’t able to generate many quality scoring chances during the opening 45 minutes.
The Quakes best chance to score came in the 32nd minute. Cristian Espinoza’s free kick from the left wing was knocked away by Timbers goalkeeper Logan Ketterer. Best scoring chance of half so far.
Pablo Bonilla appeared to have tripped Remedi inside the box which would have resulted in a penalty shot but referee Tim Ford said no harm no foul and the play resulted in a goal kick for Portland in the 43rd minute.
Portland earned two yellow cards in the first half thanks to some reckless abandon play from Bill Tuiloma and Dario Zuparic. Both made separate dangerous fouls in the 24th minute and 42nd minute.
The Timbers came out with an aggressive style of play to start the second half. They had generated five scoring chances in the first 10 minutes of the second half, including a point blank save by Marcinkowski on a shot by Felipe Mora right in center of the box.
San Jose was awarded a penalty kick in the 61st minute when a centering attempt by Carlos Fierro was knocked away by Timbers defender Claudio Bravo with a hand ball.
Chris Wondolowski, who came in as a subsitute in the 58th minute, shot the penalty kick to the far right corner of the net but Ketterer made a diving save for a corner kick.
Ketterer, who was playing for the USL’s El Paso Locomotive, received a call up due to an extreme hardship rule as both Portland goalkeepers were out due to injury.
Almeyda’s substitutions of Chofis, Shea Salinas, Jack Skahan and Benji Kikanovic injected life in the Quakes attack as they generated momentum for San Jose as they created scoring chances inside the Timbers defensive zone in a ten-minute span from the 60th minute to the 70th.
Portland doubled its lead on a counter attack in the 74th minute. Williamson sent a cross from the right slot and Marvin Loria headed the ball past Marcinkowski into the back of the net for his first goal of the season.
Williamson has three points in five games for the Timbers.
The Quakes had a chance to cut the lead in half in the 80th minute after corner kick pinballed around inside the box and Wondo’s header from six yards out was knocked away by Kedderer at the last second to end the threat.
Kedderer stopped all five shots, including the penalty kick on the MLS all-time leading goal scorer, on target to earn his first MLS career victory. Marcinkowski made three saves on five shots in the losing effort.
GAME NOTES: San Jose had 12 corner kicks. Portland had four.
Portland leads the overall series against San Jose 16-5-8. The Quakes are 5-4-5 at home versus the Timbers.
The last win for the Quakes over the Timbers was April 6, 2019, when the Quakes shutout Portland
3-0 at PayPal Park.
UP NEXT: San Jose finish off its three-game homestand when they host Sporting KC on Saturday 5/22 at 7:00pm at Pay Pal Park.