OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS
Timbers defeats Boca Juniors on late Lopez goal
Boca cerró la gira en Portland
Portland Timbers 3, Boca Juniors 2: Timbers stay mentally tough with late goals
Celebration! Timbers over Boca 3-2
MAY 29, 2010
Timbers rally behind RoRo for 3-2 win over Boca Juniors
Coming off a disappointing run of league results, the Timbers would face a formidable challenge with world-renowned Argentinian side Boca Juniors visiting for an international exhibition. The Timbers would take a first half lead on a goal by Ryan Pore, then give up two early second half goals to Boca Juniors to give them a 2-1 lead. But a headed goal 15 minutes from time by Stephen Keel would pull the Timbers level, then a spectacular free kick in stoppage time by Portland’s Rodrigo Lopez would give the Timbers a come from behind 3-2 win in front of 14,106 at Portland’s PGE Park.
Only one minute into the match, the Timbers nearly benefitted from a mistake by Boca goalkeeper Josue Ayala, whose clearance went right to Timbers forward Bright Dike, but the Timbers forward’s brief look at the open net from 30 yards out did not pay off as his shot was well over the crossbar.
Boca Juniors would have their first good chance in the ninth minute, when Matias Gimenez made a run to the top of the box and slipped a pass through the legs of Timbers defender Stephen Keel to Lucas Viatri, but the Boca forward’s open shot was just wide of the left post. The visitors would get another good chance two minutes later with a free kick just outside the Timbers box, the free kick by Jesus Mendez was headed wide by Timbers defender Ross Smith, and Boca was unable to make the ensuing free kick pay off, with David Achucarro sending a shot from 20 yards well over the crossbar.
Boca Juniors briefly thought they had taken the lead in the 15th minute off a corner kick when Achucarro put in a shot that turned out to be from an offside position. Then then, only about a minute later, on a play that started out with a steal by Quavas Kirk, Alex Nimo made a nice run down the right side, and found Ryan Pore open near the penalty spot, and Pore would finish easily inside the left post to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.
Two minutes later, Boca Juniors nearly tied the match in the 17th minute when a pass dropped back to Viatri, who had an open look but his shot was deflected wide left off the heel of a Timbers defender.
Boca would have another good opportunity in the 26th minute when a header by Mendez towards net was headed wide by Keel. Just two minutes later, Portland’s Dike made a nice run down the left side and into the Boca box, and his cross would find Nimo near the top of the box, but his shot would be right at Ayala and easily saved.
Starting in about the 38th minute there was a flurry of action, first with Dike fighting off his Boca defender and getting into the box, but his shot was wide left. Then Luciano Monzon making a nice run down the left side for Boca, but missing a tight angle shot. Then at the other end a minute later, a cross from Nimo into the Boca box was nearly headed in from close range by James Marcelin, but just a yard over his head.
In the 43rd minute, Boca would nearly tie the score when Pablo Mouche made a nice run into the Timbers box, but his shot was blocked wide by Tony McManus. It would be the last good scoring chance for either team, and the Timbers would lead 1-0 at the half.
It would not take long for Boca Juniors to equalize though, when Carlos Colazo would find space outside the top of the Timbers box, and found Gimenez with a nice pass as he ran into the box, and the Boca Juniors midfielder would beat Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin with a low shot to the far post, and the score was level at 1-1.
Then just two minutes later, on their next chance, the
side would take the lead when a cross from the right side was headed by Gimenez to second half substitute Nicolas Blandi, who side footed a volley from 10 yards out that Cronin would partially block, but not enough to keep it out of the net, and in just two minutes a 1-0 Timbers lead was now a 2-1 Boca Juniors lead.
Boca was now controlling most of the run of play during this part of the match, and their next good chance would be in the 65th minute when a cross to the far post resulted in a spectacular side-foot full volley attempt by Colazo, but he didn’t get quite enough on the attempt and was easily collected by Cronin.
Two minutes later, Boca had a great chance to widen their lead when Blondi had an open look from 15 yards out, but Cronin made a spectacular diving save to push the shot wide, and keep the Timbers within a goal. The Timbers would have a good chance in the 70th minute with a free kick just outside the Boca box, but Steve Purdy took the attempt and it was over the crossbar.
The Timbers were now beginning to control the ball more, and looking more likely that they might be able to draw level, and Dike had a good chance in the 72nd minute when he made a run into the left side of the Boca box and slipped the ball past the Boca keeper from a tight angle, but the shot went across the goal mouth untouched and wide right.
But in the 74th minute, the Timbers would make the possession pay off when a free kick from 40 yards out by Rodrigo Lopez, who had just come on a few minutes before, was headed by Keel, who had been left open near the penalty spot in the Boca box, and the header with pace was past Ayala and into the Boca net, and the Timbers had drawn level at 2-2.
Two minutes later, a pass from Timbers forward Mandjou Keita nearly found Dike only 10 yards out, but a Boca defender got just enough of the pass to nullify the threat.
Both defenses were now playing pretty tight, and not allowing many chances, though Colazo had a good look from 20 yards out for Boca in the 82nd minute, but his blast was well over the bar. Boca would have much of the possession late in the match, but no good scoring chances, and the match appeared headed to penalty kicks, which had been decided pre-match to determine a winner in the event of a draw.
Then with about forty seconds to go before stoppage time, Dike was fouled just outside the Boca box, setting up a late Timbers scoring chance. Lopez would take the free kick, which was blocked by the wall, but as a Boca defender attempted to control the ball, he played the ball with his hand just outside the box, setting up another free kick, this time at the very top of the circle.
Once it again it was Lopez taking the free kick, but this time the shot would not go into the wall, as it was curled perfectly just inside the right post, and 45 seconds into stoppage time, the Timbers had a 3-2 lead.
Boca Juniors were able to get the ball into the Timbers box twice more during stoppage time, but neither resulted in a shot on goal, and the Timbers held on for the come-from-behind win against one of the world’s most elite clubs.
report and all photos by Allison Andrews E-mail at