Timbers ax Alpha United in first ever CONCACAF Champions League match

FanendoAdiPortlandTimbers1-RSL2014 (USATodaySports)

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite a long-distance midweek trip and less-than-stellar playing conditions, the Portland Timbers opened their CONCACAF Champions League campaign on a positive note.

With head coach Caleb Porter opting for a more subdued lineup in preparation for this weekend’s tilt against the Seattle Sounders, the Timbers coasted in a 4-1 victory over Alpha United in Guyana via goals from Steve Zakuani, Maximiliano Urruti, Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell.

Although Saturday’s game was played on a surface more conducive to cricket than soccer, the Timbers were as explosive as ever on offense, despite only four holdovers from Saturday’s draw with the New England Revolution.

Zakuani netted the go-ahead goal in the 18th minute on a pass from winger Khalif Alhassan, as the 26-year-old Zakuani outran the Alpha United defense off a turnover in midfield.

Alhassan’s pass found the Congolese winger down the left side, allowing Zakuani to finish from just inside the Alpha United box.

Alhassan notched a second assist just 16 minutes later, finding Maximiliano Urruti for what would end up being the game-winner.

The Argentine received the ball from Alhassan near the top of the box and took a few touches towards goal before firing past Alpha United goalkeeper Ronson Williams to push the score to 2-0.

The hosts pulled one back just before halftime, with Alpha’s Barbosa Murillo curling in a free kick past Timbers goalkeeper Andrew Weber to close the gap to one heading into halftime break.

The Timbers restored the two goal advantage 20 minutes into the second half, as Fanendo Adi made it 3-1 through a back heel finish.

The visitors added a fourth in the 83rd minute through Alvas Powell, who took full advantage of a loose rebound in the box to close out the night’s scoring.

The Timbers now face a short turnaround heading into their next contest, as the team will return home to Providence Park for a Sunday clash with the rival Seattle Sounders.

Check out the highlights from Tuesday’s action below:

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18 Responses to Timbers ax Alpha United in first ever CONCACAF Champions League match

  1. beto says:

    Nice headline!

  2. AcidBurn says:

    Watch the video, that field is unbelievable. No excuses for Portland, got the job done. Well done.

    • Diego's Maradoughnuts says:

      Dude the stadium was even more epic… Stonehenge thinks that place is weird. The Easter Island XI refuse to play there.

    • The Imperative Voice says:

      We play on baseball fields and astroturf, that’s a cricket stadium. I like diversity in this competition. Who wants to watch the umpteenth game from some Mexican team’s stadium? Kind of neat to see what else is out there.

      • beto says:

        just wait until we have NYCFC playing on a dirt infield.. or 50% of usl+nasl playing in minor league baseball stadiums like skc use to do

  3. Ian says:

    Go to 1:10 in the video. Watch the reaction of the Alpha player after he scores on the free kick. It’s that look of “OMG OMG, I can’t believe I just did that!” Pretty awesome.

    • CSD says:

      Behold the greatest moment in Guyana Football history. It looked like from the stands no one in Guyana except the players and the coaching staff witnessed it live.

  4. Daniel in Chapel Hill says:

    That Alpha free kick from 30+ yards: Wow.

  5. William the Terror says:

    Excellent result. Especially considering the fact that Americans have not always had the best of luck flying into Guyana. I kid. I kid.

  6. Sam says:

    Spell check?

  7. Wood chip zip says:

    Alpha United’s crest is so similar to Portland’s; made for a cool match-up. Awesome free kick by Murillo. Two great shots taken by Nanchoff. Cant believe Portland don’t use him more.

  8. Mo says:

    Portland wins by 3 wickets