Timbers edge Quakes, move up in standings

ByReuters ESPN logo
Thursday, September 21, 2023

Cristhian Paredes and Evander scored as the Portland Timbers continued their rise up MLS' Western Conference standings with a 2-1 victory against the visiting San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night.

The Timbers (10-11-9, 39 points) moved into eighth place in the West, one spot behind San Jose (10-10-10, 40 points). The top nine teams in each conference make the playoffs.

Goalkeeper David Bingham made one save for Portland, which improved to 4-1-1 under interim coach Miles Joseph.

Matthew Hoppe scored for the Earthquakes and goalie Daniel made four saves. San Jose dropped to 0-13-4 at Portland in MLS play.

Evander scored what proved to be the winner in the 58th minute. Sebastian Blanco's shot from just inside the top of the 18-yard box deflected off two San Jose defenders and fell to Evander about 5 yards from the left post. He chipped a shot over a sprawling Daniel to give Portland a 2-0 lead.

Before the smoke could clear in the Timbers Army sections of the stands, the Earthquakes responded in the 60th minute. Jeremy Ebobisse drove down the left wing and sent a cross to the opposite side of the box for Cristian Espinoza, whose sidewinding volley forced Bingham to make a diving, one-handed save. The ball fell to an unmarked Hoppe just inside the top of the 6-yard box and he blasted a shot into the open net.

The Timbers opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time, turning a San Jose turnover into a 5-on-3 counterattack from the other side of midfield. Franck Boli dribbled down the middle of the pitch and sent the ball wide to Bryan Acosta on the right wing. Acosta's low cross was redirected by Paredes past Daniel from just inside the top of the 6-yard box.

Paredes was wearing the captain's armband in the absence of veteran Diego Chara, who underwent an emergency appendectomy last week.

Daniel made two saves in the first half, both off shots by Evander. The first was a routine stop in the 20th minute, as Evander only got a heel on a cross by Blanco. Five minutes later, Daniel made a diving stop at the right post on Evander's free kick from 22 yards out.

--Field Level Media