Timbers Thrashed in Montreal

Apparently Jair Marrufo is a native of Montreal, or at least a Montreal Impact fan, because the Timbers couldn’t do anything with getting the referee’s wraith. This loss wasn’t on the officiating, but it sure didn’t help matters.

Marrufo started quickly, doling out a Penalty Kick because Sebastian Blanco put his hand on the Impact’s Blerim Dzemaili’s shoulder and he fell down. Was it a stupid move by Blanco? Of course. Was it worth a PK? Probably not, but ok, Montreal up 1-0 as Ignacio Piatti went right, and Jake Gleeson guessed left.

Things got a bit more iffy five minutes later, when Diego Chara got a straight red for putting his forearm into Piatti’s face. Again, stupid move, but worthy of a straight red? Hardly, and an awful call from Marrufo to get that extreme. Not even halfway through the first half, and not only are the Timbers down by one, they’re down a player.

Montreal added another as Defender Kyle Fisher headed in a cross in the 43rd minute, and it appeared to be a route in process. However, Portland wasn’t going down without a fight. Alvas Powell chipped a beauty into the box, and Diego Valeri put a strong header in one minute into first half stoppage time. The Timbers went into the break with some hope.

That hope was crushed fairly quick into the second half. Piatti put in his second of the match at the 50th minute mark, and while that didn’t kill all momentum for the Timbers, it appeared to take a good chunk of the wind out of their sail. Ambroise Oyongo would put in the final Impact goal in the 77th minute, and this one was over.

Timbers Head Coach, Caleb Porter, stayed positive in his post game comments, and I don’t fault him, but something’s gotta give. The team started the season on a tear, going 4-1-1 and scoring 16 goals in that stretch. However, the last six games have gone in a different direction: 1-3-2, with six goals.

Porter was being optimistic, but he was also correct. Even being down a man, the Timbers kept fighting, and created some great chances. However, as the above shows, goals have not been easy to come by recently.

 

While they suffered a couple bad calls, both were stupid moves, especially, Chara. It was at midfield and was after the ball had been played away. Referees make bad calls all the time, and you can’t put yourself in a position to help them with that.

Hopefully this loss can act as a catalyst to turn this bad stretch of play around. The Timbers are away once again next weekend as they travel north to play rivals Seattle Sounders. The Cascadian teams currently sit at fifth, sixth and seventh (Portland, Vancouver, Seattle) in the Western Conference with only five points separating the Timbers and Sounders.

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