The Portland Timbers may be an awful team, but they are actually somewhat respectable at home. Not good, mind you, but you only kind of make fun of them at JELD-WEN Field. On Saturday night they showed why, topping their Cascadia rivals with a 2-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Some lax defending by the Whitecaps allowed the Timbers to strike first in the 41st minute. Jack Jewsbury was afforded too much space in the midfield so he ran up, and got within 25 yards of goal. Still without pressure, Jewsbury was able to slide a ball in for Darlington Nagbe, who was also given acres of space. His defender was several yards off of him so it was no problem for him to get to the center and shoot past Joe Cannon for the opening tally.
Portland should have been a goal up at halftime, but they fell asleep in stoppage time and allowed Vancouver to level. They didn't clear a corner kick far enough and couldn't get the next ball in away. That gave the Whitecaps a third chance, which Jay DeMerit took as an opportunity to shoot. He shot poorly and it was going well wide of the goal, but luckily for him, Kenny Miller was wide of the goal. DeMerit's shot found Miller, who was all alone and beat Donovan Ricketts for his first MLS goal.
Once level, conventional wisdom was that the Whitecaps, being the better team, would find a winner. Conventional wisdom did not account for a Cannon mistake, though. Franck Songo'o hit a decent free kick, but it was from far and not that hard. Cannon got to the ball in time and should have made a pretty simple save, but he let it slip through his fingers and into the goal to put the Timbers up 2-1.
The Whitecaps did their best to get back in it, but they couldn't break through and an 84th minute red card to Darren Mattocks essentially killed their chances. The rookie elbowed David Horst in the faced and was sent off, wrapping up a tidy 2-1 win for Portland and some supporters that really needed a happy night.