PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers advanced to the quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup for the first time in franchise history thanks to a touch of class from midfielder Michael Nanchoff, whose left-footed volley in the ninth minute sparked a 2-0 victory Wednesday night over the Tampa Bay Rowdies.
Jack Jewsbury, who came on as a second-half substitute, added a second-half goal as the Timbers cruised against a mostly overwhelmed NASL side coming off an upset victory over the Seattle Sounders in the tournament’s third round two weeks ago. Portland made sure there would be no upset, outshooting Tampa Bay 12-3.
The Timbers will play at FC Dallas, which beat the Houston Dynamo 3-0 in their fourth-round game Wednesday, when the USOC tournament resumes June 26.
Nanchoff, who has yet to see action during MLS play, broke open a sleepy start to the game and gave the relatively small JELD-WEN Field crowd something to cheer for when he fired a one-time volley from the left corner of the 18 as a Rowdies defender closed in, beating goalkeeper Diego Restrepo to the far post.
The Timbers doubled their lead in the 55th minute off a Nanchoff free kick that was flicked on by Frederic Piquionne and cleaned up by Jewsbury with a neat chip to the goal roof. The goal is Jewsbury’s first of the season.
Tampa Bay missed a golden opportunity to cut into the Timbers lead in the 79th minute when a Luke Mulholland free kick just outside the box beat goalkeeper Milos Kocic top shelf but drew woodwork.
The game ended with Tampa Bay forward Georgi Hristov being shown red for a hard tackle on Timbers defender Ryan Miller in the 89th minute.
The Timbers return to MLS action Saturday when the play host to FC Dallas at JELD-WEN Field.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.