Jean-Baptiste stunner lifts Timbers over Galaxy

AndrewJeanBaptiste (Getty)

BY MIKE DONOVAN

PORTLAND, Ore.- The Portland Timbers have made many memories in their two-and-a-half MLS seasons at Jeld-Wen Field. But they had never scored a stoppage-time winner.

At least not until Saturday.

Andrew Jean-Baptiste scored his first goal of the season in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time to give the Timbers a stunning 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday night.

Jean-Baptiste became the first Timber defender to score in 2013 when he headed home a Diego Valeri corner kick and sent the crowd into delirium and decide an intense match that swung back and forth all night long. Jean-Baptiste called the goal the “biggest of his career.”

“I’m proud of our guys, for, again, when the game was on the line, I thought we were really the ones pushing the game,” Timbers head coach Caleb Porter said.

The victory is Portland’s fourth straight at home and gives the Timbers a seven-game unbeaten run at Jeld-Wen Field.

“We’ve been building a fortress,” Porter said. “We’ve shown this year that we’re very difficult to play at home.”

Despite missing players such as Landon Donovan and Will Johnson due to international duty, the game felt more like a November playoff showdown than a mid-July match. In edition to the game-winner, the match was hotly-contested one that saw end-to-end action, seven yellow cards and at least on shot that clanked off the woodwork.

And the fireworks didn’t stop at the final whistle. Post-match saw Carlo Cudicini receive a yellow card and a seemingly-intense clash between Caleb Porter and Bruce Arena. Porter downplayed the incident saying “nothing happened” and that Arena is the “greatest American coach in the history of the sport.”

First half goals from LA’s Marcelo Sarvas and Portland’s Ryan Johnson saw the teams nodded up at the halftime whistle. The Galaxy got on the board first after Hector Jimenez worked his way around Michael Harrington and whipped in a perfect cross to Marcelo Sarvas. For Sarvas, it was his fourth goal of the season, while it was first goal given up by the Timbers at Jeld-Wen since in 586 minutes, the third-longest streak in MLS history.

Despite giving up the first goal for an eighth time this season, Portland seemed to brush off the early Sarvas header.

“We deal with adversity very well. That’s how we are,” Jean-Baptiste said. “We’ve been down goals numerous times and we just show character and heart and passion and come back into games that we know we can win.” 

Portland answered ten minutes later when a quick restart on a free kick led to a Ryan Johnson tap-in. The goal, set up by a Darlington Nagbe pass, gives Johnson six on the season and his second in three matches. The quick free kick was part of the game plan, according to Porter.

As the second half progressed, the game to evolve into a midfield-heavy with few goal-scoring opportunities between the two sides. When there were chances in the second 45, the teams made the most of them with a combined five shots on goal in just eight shots taken. In fact, the Timbers only had one shot total in the final 28 minutes of play. But that one was the game-winner.

Both goalkeepers were kept busy by dangerous chances, with Carlo Cudicini producing a fine double save on Darlington Nagbe and Johnson, and Ricketts denying a stellar Juninho free kick. The two goalkeepers, who have a combined age of 75, had seven saves between them.

While Sarvas will be happy with his goal and was a constant threat in the midfield, he will disappointed by his play on the game-winning goal. Sarvas didn’t react as Jean-Baptiste went next to the post that Sarvas was meant to be marking.

Jimenez was a constant nuisance to the left side of the Portland defense, beating Harrington on multiple occasions. However, Jimenez did not have the same impact after the break and was subbed off 15 minutes before the end of the match.

The win puts the Timbers in second place in the Western Conference with 33 points, while LA has dropped into fourth place with 30 points. Even with the victory, Jean-Baptiste and the Timbers are looking for more.

“We want the Supporters Shield. We beat a good team today, but we’re not done. We haven’t accomplished anything. All we did was win a couple games,” Jean-Baptiste said. “Until we get a couple trophies in our cabinet, we haven’t done anything.”

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32 Responses to Jean-Baptiste stunner lifts Timbers over Galaxy

  1. SanFran415 says:

    So Arenas is going to be fined for unleashing a naughty word tirade at Caleb Porter postgame?

    • Matt Jackowski says:

      Another great game destroyed by a terrible officiating call at the end that should have been a foul. The refs are the superstars of the night once again.

    • bird says:

      I was at the match and what was not shown on TV was after the initial heated exchange between Porter and Arenas, Bruce went and yelled at the referee and then went back and found Porter and they talked for a bit while shaking hands and hugged. Seemed like mutual respect at the end and the first bit was misplaced aggression. At one point the ref had to stop the match and go talk to Porter at the touch line, it was not a great night for the crew, they were booed every chance. There was no consistency with yellow cards being given for first fouls and others not given after 3 or 4 fouls. Overall it was a great match and pretty equal I would have thought a draw was fair on the evening. I will say that Zardes kid was amazing to see in person. He is strong has pace and makes smart runs into dangerous areas. He also has a 3rd lung as he was sprinting around the pitch all match. A little more seasoning and experience with what to do when he gets the ball in those dangerous spots and he could be the real deal. Hopefully he continues to develop.

  2. petedx says:

    So I was at the game and I try not to get influence by the crowd which is obviously impossible but was that ref (Toledo I think) for real? It kinda seemed like he was playing to the crowd to antagonize us in some sort of phony wwe way, by making ridiculous calls, which probably is not a good sign for the quality of officiating.

  3. Eric says:

    Just got home from the match. Man that was si much fun. Gonna be a but hoarse timotrow. Frckin ref can s*ck a fat one. Great match though, plenty of chances in both ends. Gitta give it up to the players fir guving it their all, both teams. The crowd was great.

  4. Gary Page says:

    Another heart breaking loss for the Galaxy. They played extremely well and dominated in long stretches. Ricketts kept Portland in the game. As has been noted before, soccer can be cruel and unjust.

    • Eric says:

      Yeah sorry your team lost. Portland dominated long streches and should have had a few more goals if not for lousy officiating and great saves by the galaxy keeper. A deserved win for the Timbers.

      • ericgalaxy says:

        Ha Ha Portland did not dominate for long stretches sorry. The only thing Portland dominated at was goal keeping and their awesome crown jewel of a fan base.
        I hope Rogers sits or goes out on loan cause he looks slow, has zero aggression, and brings nothing to the attack. It’s as frustrating as watching Brek Shea.
        Zardes looks better and better wow hope he’s the real deal.

        • Eric says:

          I agree that Zardes looked very dangerous. Could have had two goals at least. Portland was definitely giving him his space. See you in the play-offs, suckas. ;-)

      • Limey says:

        Seriously Eric did you watch the game?

        • jonk says:

          Portland fan here, I watched the game and neither team was dominant and either side would feel upset to lose. Both sides had a handful of good chances though LA maybe a few more. Toledo wasn’t as horrible as fans in the stadium are making him out to be. The few times I could hear the crowd chanting “di-ver di-ver” weren’t dives, etc, and I don’t think Portland was called for an excessive number of fouls relative to LA. The difference of course, is that I was watching on tv from a couple thousand miles away and so I can see things a bit more objectively (the benefit of replay also helps).

        • RAMONE says:

          Agree. Calling either team dominant would be a huge stretch. Ricketts had to come up big to keep LA on 1 goal, absolutely, but Portland certainly had another couple of very good chances (Nagbe’s shot that Cudicini had to come up with a good save followed by an even better one on the rebound that is a goal for Portland 80% of the time).

          It was a fairly even match. LA had a few more shots and got more calls, but possession was 51-49. Had it been 65-35, then we could be talking about a dominant performance where the other team won on a couple of counters against the run of play. Not what happened though.

  5. Alexandria says:

    Name one,league with great officiating? I’ll wait. There are bad calls in every league on every continent.

    • CW in LA says:

      True enough. You have to figure soccer is a very difficult game to officiate well, or it would happen more often. Still, it’s hard to believe this really is the best MLS can do.

  6. Limey says:

    Galaxy, seriously this is not funny anymore, finish these teams off for goodness sake.

  7. blimey says:

    i’m really getting tired of how much mls fans get up and arms about the referees. yes, last nights game wasn’t the best display of officiating, but overall the mls refs get more crap than is warranted. over the 90 minutes and a whole season, all the wrong calls balance out.

    galaxy can complain all they want but do your job, defend set pieces and that game ends a draw.

    this clip from roy keane is perfect example( link to youtube.com ).

  8. beachbum says:

    Great game, very entertaining showcase game for the league, full of drama and disputes and just the kind of rivalry to help build the league. Great crowd and the turf field eliminated Keane as he is no good on the stuff and it showed. Even so the teenagers hung tough and Zardes deserved better than to be the defender on that last goal

    Great MLS game

    • petedx says:

      Keane did score a brace last year in Portland on that same turf

      • beachbum says:

        still doesn’t play well on the field turf tho, and has said he doesn’t enjoy playing on it or something like that. he can get better on that surface but it’s an adjustment

        and I don’t care what reports folks can produce about the wear and tear on the body, playing on filed turf is much harder on the body than grass

  9. beachbum says:

    still doesn’t play well on the field turf tho, and has said he doesn’t enjoy playing on it or something like that. he can get better on that surface but it’s an adjustment

    and I don’t care what reports folks can produce about the wear and tear on the body, playing on filed turf is much harder on the body than gra$$

    • Brian says:

      “Their turf is good!” Henry told reporters just before the Red Bulls came to Portland on March 3. “It’s different from any other turf you play in the league. That’s an amazing one.”

      Only MLS turf field Henry will play on.

    • Chance says:

      The only people who don’t like playing on Turf are whiny pros. Everyone at the amateur level is clamoring for turf fields. And as Brian pointed out, the Turf in Portland is the best in the league and the only one those whiny pros who refuse to play when their teams travel to Seattle of New England will actually play on (Henry obviously being the biggest of those names).

      • beachbum says:

        I like it but it hurts my body

        just like it does to anyone’s

        you guys are too defensive