RECAP | San Jose Earthquakes 2, Portland Timbers 1
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Forward Darlington Nagbe scored seven minutes from full time as a late comeback attempt for the Portland Timbers fell just short in a hard-fought 2-1 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at Buck Shaw Stadium.
Despite just their third loss of the season, the Timbers (8-3-10, 34pts) remain in second place in the Western Conference, tied with the Colorado Rapids, only three points back of conference-leader Real Salt Lake.
The Earthquakes (7-9-6, 27pts) scored twice just three minutes apart early in the second half on a penalty kick in the 55th minute and off a free kick in the 58th minute to take a 2-0 lead. The Timbers, who had not allowed two goals in a match since June 8, pulled one back on Nagbe’s sixth goal of the season in the 83rd minute as part of a late push to get back in the game. Playing with a one-man advantage for the final five minutes of the match, Portland had two shots on goal in the final moments, but ultimately fell for the first time to the Earthquakes in league play since joining MLS.
The Timbers attempted 20 shots against the Earthquakes, their highest shot total on the road this season. Nagbe matched a career high with his sixth goal of the season, while midfielder Diego Valeri recorded his club-leading seventh assist and forward Frederic Piquionne tallied his fifth assist on the campaign.
Bernardez, manning the spot in the absence of star forward Chris Wondolowski, converted in the 55th minute, and Steven Lenhart scored three minutes after that to help Mark Watson's side build their first winning streak of 2013.
Quakes winger Shea Salinas earned the penalty kick – the fourth called against Portland this season – when his slaloming counterattack ended in a collision with Timbers center back Andrew Jean-Baptiste.
Ordinarily, San Jose penalty kicks are taken by Wondolowski, but with the Quakes star on international duty with the US Gold Cup squad, the job was open.
Bernardez, known primarily for his booming free kicks from long distance, used a different technique to beat Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who came in with the league’s second-best goals-against average at 0.84 per match. Bernardez went low to Ricketts’ right as the Jamaican international dove in the opposite direction.
Salinas also played a part in the Quakes’ second goal, delivering a free kick from deep on the left wing to the far post. That’s where Lenhart slipped in behind the Timbers’ defense and touched the ball home with a sliding poke.
Nagbe, set free by a nifty back-heel assist from Piquionne, fired it into the back of the net from 14 yards to give Portland new life late.
Chavez earned his first yellow in the 85th minute after colliding on the full run with Portland defender Pa Modou Kah. He drew a second from referee Drew Fischer seconds later in the 86th after interfering with Diego Valeri’s setup for the resultant free kick.
Both teams are back in action on Aug. 3, with the Quakes hosting Chivas USA and the Portland Timbers heading back home to face their Cascadia rivals, the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Portland Timbers (8-3-10, 34pts) at San Jose Earthquakes (7-9-6, 27pts)
July 27, 2013 – Buck Shaw Stadium (Santa Clara, Calif.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
San Jose Earthquakes 0 2 2
SJ: Bernardez (penalty kick), 55
SJ: Lenhart (Salinas), 58
POR: Nagbe (Piquionne, Valeri), 83
SJ: Chavez (Caution), 85
SJ: Chavez (Ejection), 85
Lineups & Stats
POR: Ricketts, D Jewsbury (Alhassan, 84), D Jean-Baptiste, D Kah, D Harrington, M Zemanski (Valencia, 66), M Valeri, M Johnson, W. ©, F Nagbe, F Johnson, R. (Piquionne, 60), F Wallace
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kocic, D McKenzie, D Miller, M Zizzo
TOTAL SHOTS: 20 (W. Johnson, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (W. Johnson, 2); FOULS: 10 (Zemanski, 3); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 1
SJ: GK Busch, D Bernardez ©, D Beitashour, D Morrow, D Stewart, M Cronin, M Chavez, M Salinas (Corrales, 89), M Baca, F Lenhart, F Jahn
Substitutes Not Used: GK Bingham, D Gargan, M Ballouchy, M Cato, F Garza, F Tracy
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Lenhart, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Bernardez, Lenhart, Stewart, 1); FOULS: 18 (Jahn, 5); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Kevin Duliba, Marco Arruda
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Clear, 68 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial