The Portland Timbers win over the LA Galaxy 2-1 was a match where a 1-1 draw would have been completely fair. In just about every statistical category the clubs were dead even, but what ultimately separated them was LA's Achilles Heel. Once again in the final fifteen minutes of the match, a mental letdown resulted in surrendering of a point.
Hector Jimenez continued to show improvement. The LA attack favored going down the right flank, and his chip from the right side that found Marcelo Sarvas' head was LA's only big chance of the night. He even improved his pass accuracy (92%).
There's another side to this story with 36 crosses, just eight successful, and only one resulting in a big chance the Galaxy attack was fairly one-sided despite keeping the majority of the match in the attacking half.
The Timbers and Galaxy combined have scored seventeen goals in the final fifteen minutes this season. On their own, the Galaxy have conceded fifteen goals in the final fifteen. All of LA's subs were offensively minded, although Robbie Keane's injury played a part in that. 1-1 on the road and two of the three subs are young forwards is nothing if not aggressive.
Both teams were aggressive all match, and that plus a raucous crowd led many to comment that it felt like a playoff match. Both teams required big saves from the goalkeeper to keep it 1-1 going into stoppage time. The Timbers were 2/3 getting shots from outside the box on target, including a Darlington Nagbe strike that required a huge diving save from Carlo Cudicini and a second save on Ryan Johnson's followup.
The Timbers gave away five free kicks in the attacking area, including a direct free kick right outside the penalty area directly in front of goal. It took a diving save from Donovan Ricketts to keep Juninho's attempt at the right corner out of the back of the net. Juninho took all the free kicks.
Portland got called for an offside pass six times, twice on passes from behind the midway line. The Galaxy played a high line most of the match, which resulted in 37% of the action taking place in the Timbers' third.
LA get to host the Vancouver Whitecaps next weekend, and then another Western Conference road trip to cap off the month. Robbie Keane's fitness will be a concern yet again this week after going out holding his hip flexor.