POR 0 – 0 VAN – Playoff Game Recap

POR0v0VAN Image: Godofredo Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

POR0v0VAN

Portland Timbers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – Playoff Game Preview

Major League Soccer Semifinals resumed yesterday with this goalless game, where the Portland Timbers hosted Vancouver Whitecaps for the first leg in the race for the MLS West championships.

Although a 0-0 draw, if considering other factors it was hosts Portland that came on top of last night’s match.

Portland were clearly on the hunt and seemed to be playing more with the intent of winning the match, as opposed to Vancouver that at times looked more determined to avoid a loss.

The Timbers starting goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey was absent due to illness, and replaced by Jake Gleeson.  Still, the hosts managed to come out of the game with a clean sheet (albeit mutual…) against Vancouver who are the number 2 seed in the MLS Western conference, and will therefore need only a tie to win on aggregate in the next leg in Vancouver next week.

Portland seemed to be taking more risks and playing an attacking game, but were repeatedly denied by Vancouver’s defensive formation.

The Timbers still controlled the game with a 59% possession, 11 shots of which 6 on target (compared to Vancouver’s 10 shots with 3 on target; and also showed a better passing accuracy (79% vs. Vancouver’s 68%).

Still, Vancouver’s defensive front combined with excellent goalkeeping by David Ousted declined the hosts from scoring.

Namely, Outsted stretching out to the top-right corner for a fantastic save of a free kick by Whitecaps’ David Valeri (72’), and on to denying Vancouver’s Maximiliano Urruti’s shot from the top of the box (86’).

The woodwork also saved the visitors at the very end of the match, with Urruti taking a shot from the outside left of the six-yard box, but hitting the right goalpost and missing the last opportunity of the night for Portland (88’).

The teams will meet again for the second leg of the MLS Playoff semifinals in Vancouver next Sunday, November 8th.