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Major League Soccer

Portland up to Third after a victory over the Rapids

September 20

Portland Timbers 1 Colorado Rapids 0

The hosts extended their unbeaten run to three games as they registered their second straight win over the Rapids to climb over their opponents into third place in the Western Conference. Diego Valeri, who is more accustomed to setting up goals as his joint league-leading 12 assists pays testimony too was the hero this time as his strike after 13 minutes was the difference.

The Rapids did play a decisive part in their own downfall though as the tally came as a result to start with from sloppy play in their own defensive zone. Veteran Drew Moor failed to make good connection on a clearance and it hit Rodney Wallace, the defection fell perfectly for Valeri and he finished with an exquisite chip over Clint Irwin in the visitors goal. The hosts who were playing for the first time in over a month with pretty much their first choice team were still not flowing as they would have wanted and gave the Rapids a couple of chances to equalise.

The first came 7 minutes before the half-time break, when a bad clearance by Mamadou Danso in front of goal gave Edson Buddle a chance, but to his and his colleagues eminence relief the veteran attacker’s effort cannoned back off the post. Their next sigh of relief came after 62 minutes when again Buddle had the opportunity to level but from a central position in the penalty area he dragged his shot disappointingly wide. The last 20 minutes saw the home team gain a greater foothold in the encounter and had four shots to try and double their advantage to easy the nerves.

Those said nerves were frayed again one last time 2 minutes from the end of the 90 minutes as Dillon Powers shot from inside the box was deflected wide by some frantic Timbers defending as they managed to hold out to claim the success which saw the road teams two game winning run ended as they slipped a place behind their opponents.