An action filled, pulsating Cascadia Cup game ended in a 4-3 victory for Vancouver Whitecaps against Portland Timbers. What were the key talking points?
1. A great advert for Major League Soccer.
If ever proof was needed when it comes to trying to tell people that MLS is entertaining then this was it. A great spectacle for fans and the players alike produced a highly enjoyable game from the first minute to the last.
2. Portland Timbers were on fire early on.
It was 1-0 within 3 minutes after a fine left-footed effort from Maximiliano Urruti, then moments after, Will Johnson saw his deflected effort brilliantly saved by Whitecaps ‘keeper, David Ousted.
Even after the score had been tied at 1-1, Portland were still in the ascendancy and they so nearly led 2-1 after an Urruti header struck the crossbar.
3. It was a seesaw encounter.
After a blistering start by the Timbers, you would have been forgiven for thinking that they would have gone on to win comfortably, but the Whitecaps weathered the early storm and a spirited fight back saw them turn the game on its head inside the first 45 minutes.
Vancouver were leading 4-1 with just 13 minutes remaining when a nice headed goal by Gaston Fernandez appeared to be a consolation as it reduced the arrears to two goals.
Then 4 minutes from time, a simply sublime goal saw Will Johnson volley home which reduced the deficit to just one goal for the Timbers and created a frantic finale.
Given all that had gone before, had Vancouver ended up throwing this away, they would have been gutted.
A large portion of credit must still be given to Portland for a great start and for battling right until the end, though they will be devastated not to have got something out of the game.
4. Pedro Morales had a game to remember.
The Vancouver midfielder was involved in every goal as he bagged himself two goals from the penalty spot as well as assisting the other two goals.
Portland Timbers will travel to Real Salt Lake on Saturday June 7 in what promises to be a very tough game despite Salt Lake suffering their first defeat of the campaign at the weekend. They’ll have to play very well to get anything from this game.
Vancouver will look to stretch their unbeaten run to seven games when they take on Philadelphia Union on Saturday. The Union are currently 8th in the Eastern Conference.
Highlights via MLS on YouTube: