The Portland Timbers defeated the LA Galaxy 1-0 before 14,556 fans at Providence Park on Friday night, advancing to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup for the third time in the last six seasons. Midfielder Sebastián Blanco scored the game-winning goal in his first U.S. Open Cup start for the Timbers, recording his sixth goal across all competitions in the 2018 campaign.
With the 1-0 win, the Timbers advance to the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals for the third time as an MLS club, previously reaching that mark in the 2013 and 2014 campaigns. The Timbers will face the winner of the Round of 16 match between Los Angeles FC and USL club Sacramento Republic FC, which will take place at 4:30 p.m. (Pacific) on Wednesday, June 20.
Portland extended its unbeaten run to 10 games across all competitions, dating back to April 14. During that stretch, the Timbers have recorded eight wins and two draws in MLS and U.S. Open Cup play.
With a clean-sheet victory in Friday’s U.S. Open Cup game, the Timbers produced their sixth clean sheet across all competitions this season and the fifth in their last eight matches. Additionally, Friday’s win marked Portland’s second straight clean sheet in U.S. Open Cup play, previously defeating the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 in the fourth round at Providence Park on June 6. The result also marked Portland’s 10th clean sheet in the U.S. Open Cup since 2004.
Portland created its first chance early in the match when defender Zarek Valentin drove the ball into forward Samuel Armenteros’ feet on the edge of the 18-yard box, with the striker turning and running at his defender, before forcing a strong, close-range save from goalkeeper David Bingham in the 10th minute of play.
Bingham was called into action again just two minutes after Armenteros’ chance when midfielder Diego Chara fired a curling effort toward the top corner from just outside the 18-yard box, forcing another solid save from the goalkeeper.
The Timbers threatened again in the 21st minute when Chara found Blanco in space on the wing, with Portland breaking on the counter attack. Catching his defender off balance and drifting inside on his right foot, Blanco struck a powerful effort that curled just wide of the far post.
With 15 minutes remaining in the first half, the Timbers took the lead through a quick combination play in the final third. The play took place when Valentin played a ball through the lines to forward Fanendo Adi, who quickly flicked the ball inside the area for Blanco. Running onto Adi’s pass, Blanco skipped around his marker, before carefully placing the ball into the back of the net with a left-footed strike in the 30th minute.
- With the 1-0 win, the Timbers are unbeaten in their last 10 matches (8-0-2) across all competitions.
- Portland recorded its sixth clean sheet of the season across all competitions with the 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
- The result also marked Portland’s 10th clean sheet in the U.S. Open Cup since 2004.
- Midfielder Sebastián Blanco tallied his sixth goal across all competitions and his first career goal in the U.S. Open Cup.
- Blanco is the third Timbers player to score a goal in the U.S. Open Cup in 2018, alongside midfielder Dairon Asprilla and forward Jeremy Ebobisse.
- Goalkeeper Jeff Attinella has recorded five clean sheets in eight games across all competitions this season.
- Playing in his second straight match across all competitions, midfielder Lawrence Olum and led the team in passing accuracy at 97.1 percent. The midfielder missed on only one attempted pass (34 successful out of 35) and also had one tackle in the match.
Next up, the Timbers will will return to league play on the road, facing Atlanta United FC on Sunday, June 24, at Mercedes Benz Stadium. Beginning at 1:30 p.m.(Pacific), the June 24 match will be televised nationally on FOX with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy (Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup)
June 15, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 1 0 1
POR: Blanco (Adi, Valentin), 30
LA: Kitchen (Caution), 42
LA: Carrasco (Caution), 62
POR: Asprilla (Caution), 90+2
POR: GK Attinella, D Valentin (Powell, 60), D Mabiala, D Tuiloma, D Vytas, M Olum, M Flores, M Chara ©, M Blanco (Paredes, 90), F Adi (Asprilla, 75), F Armenteros
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gleeson, D Jadama, M Williamson, F Ebobisse
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Blanco, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Armenteros, 2); FOULS: 17 (Three players tied, 3); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
LA: GK Bingham, D Romney, D Ciani, D Skjelvik, D Cole, M Kitchen, M Carrasco (Pedro, 78), M Pontius, M Jamieson IV, M Boateng (Husidic, 70), F Kamara (Lassiter, 57)
Substitutes Not Used: GK vom Steeg, D Williams, D Steres, D Hilliard-Arce
TOTAL SHOTS: 6 (Six players tied, 1); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Kitchen, 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Assistant Referees: Tj Zablocki, Chris Elliott
4th Official: Farhad Dadkho
Weather: Cloudy, 71 degrees