Jeremy Ebobisse scores the first goal of the game for the Portland Timbers in their 2018 US Open Cup match against the San Jose Earthquakes. Photo: Allison Andrews | SoccerCityUSA.com
The Portland Timbers defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 in front of 12,769 fan at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. With the victory, the Timbers advance to the Fifth Round of the 2018 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
The Earthquakes featured a primarily first choice lineup which included star striker Chris Wondolowski, while the Timbers called up several players from their reserve side, Portland Timbers 2, to start in the match, which only featured Diego Chara from the first choice lineup.
“I was very pleased with the performance all around from everyone who stepped on the field and they got the job done,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said following the match. “We knew it was going to be a tough game. They had a lot of starters. They had a lot of players, important players, and we knew we had to battle. I was very pleased not only because we were able to score the two goals and win the match, but we showed some maturity with a lot of the young guys and we kept the ball, we knew when to move it, when to go forward and all around I thought it was a great performance by the guys. I’m very proud of the way they played today.”
While the Earthquakes started out on the front foot for the first few minutes of the match, the Timbers quickly took control of the match, with call ups Renzo Zambrano and Marvin Loria providing much of the early spark for the Timbers.
After several minutes of trading chances, the Timbers would finally get their breakthrough in the 28th minute, as Jeremy Ebobisse found himself with space in the 18, a quick cut-back and left footed shot floated past San Jose goalkeeper Andy Tarbell, giving the Timbers the lead.
“I knew [their midfielder] was going to turn out. I was lucky to get that first touch toward goal. From there, I saw Marvin [Loria] making a good run in the box so my first thought was to feed him. I didn’t trust my right foot in that instance, so I cut it back and luckily had some time and took a good goal.” Ebobisse said following the match.
Feeling pressure to level the match before the break, the Earthquakes pushed higher in the attack and saw chances from Jahmir Hyka and Jackson Yueill blocked and saved, respectively, and the teams went in to the locker room with the Timbers ahead 1-0.
Coming out of the break, the Earthquakes continued to push for an equalizer, but it was the Timbers who once again found the back of the net.
On the counterattack, Chara sped down the center of the pitch toward the San Jose goal. With defenders collapsing on him, he found an unmarked Dairon Asprilla, who slotted the ball past the feet of Tarbell to double the Timbers lead in the 66th minute.
With the match in hand and the Earthquakes making attacking substitutions, the Timbers were happy to take a more defensive posture, absorbing the pressure from the San Jose attack to ensure their victory and advancement on to the next round.
With the victory, the Timbers will face the LA Galaxy in the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup at Providence Park.