Chivas keeps Timbers winless on MLS road
Portland falls 1-0 in latest setback
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The second half was better than the first.
The Portland Timbers had more possession than did Chivas USA, and outshot their hosts after halftime of Wednesday's matinee in Carson, Calif.
But the only thing those efforts produced was more frustration for a Portland team that has not won a road game this Major League Soccer season.
A 16th-minute goal from Miller Bolaños lifted Chivas USA to a 1-0 win over the visiting Timbers on Wednesday afternoon before a crowd of 13,827 that included many youth soccer camp participants at the Home Depot Center.
It was the sixth consecutive scoreless road outing for the Timbers, who fell to 5-10-4, including 0-7-2 in road games.
The Timbers play another road game on Saturday, visiting an FC Dallas team that is also struggling to climb free from the bottom of the standings.
In a match that was even on the statistics sheet, the Timbers carried the play for much of the second half but did not create a clean scoring chance.
Chivas' goal came when Ryan Smith beat Portland defender Steven Smith and struck a ball that spun off the hands of Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins for Bolaños to finish.
Portland general manager and interim head coach pointed to one-on-one defending, especially in wide positions, as an area his team needs to improve: "I think in the middle of the park we did a decent job (defending), and we got isolated out wide and we need to do a better job of dictating play, even in our defensive third."
Chivas attacked the wings from the outset. Ryan Smith, who has missed time with injuries, set up a goal against Portland for the third time this season. He had two assists in a win at Portland in April.
Portland used the same formation it did in its first game of Wilkinson's interim coaching reign, Saturday's 5-3 home loss to L.A. The only changes to the starting lineup were Futty Danso replacing David Horst as one central defender, and Diego Chara returning from suspension in for Lovel Palmer as a defensive midfielder
But the first half was a disappointment as Chivas outshot Portland 8-1, commanded most of the possession, and made the Timbers play from behind.
In the second half, Portland pushed striker Kris Boyd and wing players more forward. The Timbers had improved movement off the ball, and better possession as a result.
But they did not score, coming closest on a Darlington Nagbe header wide and a difficult one-timer by Boyd on an up-field pass.