Image source: Oregon Live
On Wednesday night, the Portland Timbers continued their momentum with a nail-biting victory against Austin FC.
Last weekend, the Timbers secured the Cascadia Cup before traveling to Texas.
At the Q2 Stadium, the visitors managed to knock down the second place table leaders of the Western Conference.
Coach Giovanni Savarese fielded the same eleven that beat the Seattle Sounders last week.
The lineup included: Aljaz Ivacic, Santiago Moreno, Bill Tuiloma, Dario Zuparic, Zac McGraw, Claudio Bravo, Diego Chara, Eryk Williamson, Sebastian Blanco, Dairon Asprilla, and Yimmi Chara.
Meanwhile, David Bingham, Pablo Bonilla, Larrys Mabiala, JoseCarlos Van Rankin, David Ayala, Marvin Loria, Christhian Paredes, Jaroslaw Niezgoda, and Tiega Ikoba sat for the bench.
The first-half of the clash was one of the most heated that the Portland Timbers had this season as Austin kept the defense on their toes.
While the home side was unfortunate to convert their chances, the Timbers were not without their own misfortunes.
Portland had an opportunity to take the lead in a counter that left the home fans worried.
The visitors finally got their breakthrough in an Eryk Williamson free-kick that found Bill Tuiloma, breaking the deadlock.
The second half saw Austin maintain their momentum when a corner led to a near-chance that the Timbers were lucky to clear off in a scuffle.
Despite dominating the match, Portland found the winning goal when center back Zac McGraw found the back of the net after bouncing off the Austin keeper.
Seven minutes later, Austin would pull one back, cutting the Timbers’ lead by one with a header from Ivacic.
However, Portland regrouped to maintain their lead, and the final whistle confirmed that the Timbers were going home with all three points.
Aftermath and remaining matches
The Portland Timbers were rewarded with a victory in their biggest win of the season.
While the Seattle Sounders have been their greatest rivals and gave them one of the most difficult matches to secure their first Cascadia Cup since 2017, Austin FC’s quality was incomparable to the Sounders.
The Timbers currently sit in seventh above the playoff line, and they have five matches left in the campaign.
They are only three points behind Nashville SC and Real Salt Lake (fifth and sixth on the table) and five points behind third-place Minnesota United FC.
Portland’s next two matches will be at home, where they will face Atlanta United FC on September 4 and Minnesota on September 10.
The team will then travel to face Columbus Crew SC, their Eastern Conference opponents, before playing their final home match against LAFC.
The Portland Timbers conclude their campaign on October 9 when they travel to face Salt Lake.