CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA made an early goal from Miller Bolaños stand as the club beat Portland by 1-0 in a rare Wednesday afternoon match at The Home Depot Center.
The victory moved Chivas four points clear of Portland and, at least temporarily, to within three points of fifth place in the Western Conference. Portland, meanwhile, stayed on 19 points, even with FC Dallas at the bottom of the table.
Chivas opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Ryan Smith knifed through Portland’s left side. Smith beat Portland’s Steven Smith, danced past Mamadou “Futty” Danso and sent the ball in from the right side of the goal area. Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins dove and got his hands on the ball, but could only slow it down as it rolled out to Bolaños. The Ecuadorian coolly slotted the ball into a gaping net as Kosuke Kimura tried in vain to stop him.
The goal was Chivas’ 12th of the season and also the first MLS goal for Bolaños. Despite the Goats’ dearth of goals in 2012, it was not the club’s fastest goal of the season. Chivas have scored goals in the fourth and 15th minutes on other occasions.
WATCH: Bolanos finds the back of the net
In the 20th minute, Alejandro Moreno collided with Perkins and eventually had to be taken off the field on a stretcher. It took eight minutes but Moreno eventually came back onto the field and would play 55 minutes in all on the afternoon before being subbed off for Juan Pablo Ángel.
Ryan Smith, meanwhile, continued to terrorize his namesake in green. Chivas’ Smith was energetic and lively on the flank while Portland’s Smith was slow to catch up and, at times, yielded too much space.
The Timbers continued their lethargic road form as the visitors did little to pressure Chivas’ goal. Their first clear chance came in the 51st minute when Darlington Nagbe had a look in from inside the goal area but his header hit the outside of the net.
Paolo Cardozo nearly doubled Chivas’ advantage in the 74th minute when Perkins came out of the goal to challenge Ángel. The ball rolled out to Cardozo, who tried to chip the ball in from the edge of the penalty area, only to see the ball float towards the empty net and twist harmlessly away at the last minute.
Portland had a few late opportunities but nothing to ever really threaten Chivas USA's goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Ryan Smith||Chivas USA winger gave the Timbers defense fits all game long, and his touch of brilliance set up the game's lone goal.|
|2||Miller Bolaños||Right place, right time for the game-winner, but constant pressure up front made the Portland defense uncomfortable.|
|3||Ben Zemanski||A workhorse in the middle of the park, Chivas midfielder kept a high pace in a match that didn't see much of it.|