Timbers spoil Dos Santos’ debut
PORTLAND, Ore. — Diego Valeri scored a 30-yard goal in the 33rd minute to lead the Portland Timbers over the Galaxy 3-1 on Sunday.
Valeri created space for himself while receiving a pass from Roy Miller. After taking a few strides toward goal, he unleashed a kick that f lew beyond the reach of goalkeeper Brian Rowe for his team-leading 12th goal.
“By the time I took a step, he had already hit it and it was coming back,” Rowe said.
The game marked the first appearance for Jonathan dos Santos with the Galaxy (5-5-1). The midfielder was acquired July 27 from Villarreal of the Spanish league.
Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell, who had sat out the previous eight games because of a quad injury, started the scoring in the fifth minute when he headed a bouncing corner kick into the roof of the net for his second goal.
“It’s been a long road back. It’s nice,” Ridgewell said of returning. “My boy said just before I went out, ‘Go and score a goal.’ So did my mom.”
A minute later, Joao Pedro threaded a pass behind the Portland defense for Emmanuel Boateng to race onto and slip a shot under goalkeeper Jake Gleeson to tie the score. It was Boateng’s third goal.
In the 10th minute, it appeared the Galaxy had taken the lead after Gyasi Zardes collected a floating header from Boateng just in front of the net and knocked it in. But referee Drew Fischer consulted with the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) and determined Zardes knocked the ball in with his hand, nullifying the goal and earning Zardes a yellow card. It was the second time a goal was disallowed after video review since the technology was implemented this weekend.
“I think [VAR] helped, obviously, in that moment,” Portland coach Caleb Porter said. “Going down 2-1 versus staying at 1-1, that was a key moment in the match.”
Said Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid: “We’re disappointed and Portland was obviously the better team in the first half, superior to us at that time point. But goals change games. The goal that gets disallowed — I mean it’s the correct reasoning, but it’s a goal that we should have just headed in.”
Portland (3-6-3) scored in the 53rd minute. Fanendo Adi charged toward goal, then backheeled the ball into the path of teammate Alvas Powell, who ripped a shot from a tight angle past Rowe for his first goal this season.
“People always ask, ‘Well, how do you close out games better?’ Well, you score another goal. That’s the best way,” Porter said. “In the past, that’s what we’ve done. So we wanted to stay on the front foot and we wanted to create a two-goal margin, which we did.”
PORTLAND’S DIEGO VALERI dribbles past the Galaxy’s Jermaine Jones, left, and Daniel Steres.