This is it. The obligatory it’s-June-now-so-the-Quakes-play-poorly match. Despite a valiant second-half rally, a ten-man Earthquakes side suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers by a Diego Valeri brace.
The Quakes were seeking to rebound from a demoralizing 4-2 home loss in the Cal Clasico last weekend, but they failed to get off the ground in a lackluster first half at Providence Park. Although the Quakes dominated in a 3-0 thumping they gave Portland earlier in the year, there were no such fireworks on this occasion as the Quakes remain winless at Portland in the MLS era.
Dominic Kinnear’s men were skittish at the back in the opening affairs, with David Bingham denying Roy Miller’s towering header and David Guzmán’s volley early on. Portland pinned the visitors back into their own half as the Quakes struggled to break the pressure, failing to muster even a single shot in the first half.
Their luck then went from bad to worse as Darwin Ceren accumulated two controversial yellow cards in the space of a minute, for which referee Kevin Stott received well-deserved criticism after overlooking numerous other comparable offenses.
Portland continued to build momentum as Sebastián Blanco won a free header in the middle of the box and squared the ball to Fanendo Adi, but the target-man couldn’t convert a six-yard header and fluffed the rebound off the post as the half ended scorelessly.
The Timbers carried their dominance early into the second half, with Dairon Asprilla ghosting in-between Quakes center-backs Florian Jungwirth and Victor Bernardez to head a dangerous effort wide of the post from Guzmán’s cross. By the 50th minute, Portland made the Quakes pay for their lackluster start as Valeri broke the lines and converted a cool finish after Jungwirth misjudged a clipped cross.
Despite trailing and playing a man down, the Quakes slowly began to claw their way back into the match, threatening through substitutes Simon Dawkins and Tommy Thompson on several occasions in the second half. Yet Valeri ultimately put the match to bed for the Timbers in the 94th minute by alertly directing Adi’s off-the-post rebound into the back of the net.