|10' - Portland: McKinley Tennyson|
|14' - Portland: McKinley Tennyson (Sean McAuley)|
|55' - Portland: Fadi Afash (PK)|
|63' - Indiana: Rodrigo Costa|
|68' - Portland: Fadi Afash (Sean McAuley)|
McKinley Tennyson and Fadi Afash both scored twice, and Sean McAuley added two assists as the Timbers scored more than three goals in a match for the first time this season in a 4-1 win over the Indiana Blast. The match was played in front of 6,865 at Portland's PGE Park. Rodrigo Costa had the lone Indiana goal.
The Timbers made it clear they were going to be aggressive on this night right from the start, and in just the 7th minute, the Timbers came very close to taking an early lead when McKinley Tennyson poked the ball away from an Indiana defender, and then broke into the box where his shot was smothered by Blast goalkeeper Josh Lynk, and the rebound was blocked off the feet of Fadi Afash.
But just three minutes later, the Timbers made their pressure pay off when Tennyson fought of an Indiana defender's hand-checking for 20 yards as he made a run into the box, then moved Lynk out of position and tapped into the open net for an early 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, after a quick restart from 25 yards out, Sean McAuley moved the ball into the left corner and crossed into the box, where Tennyson was again in position to beat the Indiana keeper, and did so, placing a shot nicely inside the right post, and just that quickly, the Timbers had a 2-0 lead.
In the 15th minute, Tennyson appeared ready for the hat-trick when a Brent Sancho cross saw him in good position in the middle of the box to head the ball in, but he was pulled down by an Indiana defender, and the ball bounced harmlessly though the box and was cleared.
Indiana had the first good chance of the night in the 20th minute when after a free kick was placed into the box, Godfrey Tenoff's shot from 20 yards was blocked on the way to goal, and was covered by Portland's Matt Napoleon.
McAuley was finding space to move into the corner and play crosses all night, and in the 36th minute, his cross found Tennyson open just outside the six yard box, but his header was just wide right. Neither team threatened again, and the half ended with the Timbers up 2-0.
The first shot goal in the second half was Indiana's, when Ezenwa Ihekoronye picked up the ball 35 yards out after an attempted clear on a corner kick, but his hard shot was tipped over the bar by Napoleon. Indiana threatened again just a minute later when attempting to go for a high diagonal ball into the box, Tommy Keenan collided with both Napoleon and Brian Winters, and the ball came free out of Napoleon's hands, and bounced around inside the box for a few seconds before the Timbers were able to clear.
Just one minute later, Indiana was threatening again when Rodrigo Costa took a hard shot from the top of the 18-yard box that went barely high. Shortly afterwards, the Timbers had a golden opportunity to widen the lead when a Jake Sagare cross from the right side found Tennyson with a wide-open net, but Tennyson's attempt went over the bar instead.
Five minutes later, the Timbers did finally earn their bonus point, but it was courtesy of a penalty kick, awarded when Sagare was taken down hard, just inside the corner of the box. Afash stepped up to take the corner, and buried it into the right side, and the Timbers had their bonus point, and a 3-0 lead.
Indiana did finally break through in the 63rd minute, when Costa took advantage of a seam the Timbers defense left for him, and made a run into the box, and beat Napoleon from 15 yards out, just inside the right post, to pull the Blast within 3-1.
But the Timbers only took five minutes to come up with an answer of their own. In the 68th minute, McAuley made another of his well placed crosses, and Afash redirected the ball into the net from 6 yards out, and the Timbers had a 4-1 lead.
The Timbers had a few chances to score a fifth goal in the final 15 minutes of the match, with breakaways from Tennyson and Afash that neither managed to put on net, and a 25 yard blast from Vadim Tolstolutsky that was tipped over the bar, but in the end it didn't matter as the Timbers secured a 4-1 win, which moves them back into 3rd place in the Pacific division.