MLS: Improving Timbers chase another win over Quakes

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The last time Portland and San Jose met, the Timbers were mired in a nine-match winless streak.

Things looked even bleaker for Portland when the visiting Earthquakes took a two-goal halftime lead.

However, with the Earthquakes going a man down because of a red card to Bruno Wilson in the 71st minute (a call that was later rescinded by a review panel), the Timbers rallied for a 4-2 victory as Jonathan Rodriguez scored twice and Evander and Felipe Mora also tallied.

The teams will meet again Wednesday night in San Jose.

Portland (5-7-6, 21 points) is 3-1-2 starting with that May 15 encounter, while the Earthquakes (3-12-2, 11 points) are 0-4-1 beginning with that contest.

“Sometimes you have to take a step back to take two forward,” Timbers coach Phil Neville said.

The Timbers had last weekend off after a 0-0 draw at St. Louis City on June 8. Backup goalkeeper James Pantemis posted his second consecutive shutout of the season.

“We want to pride ourselves on being hard to beat and hard to score on, and (it) was a perfect example, especially on the road in tough conditions,” Pantemis said. “We put our bodies on the line to keep that clean sheet and it feels great.”

The Earthquakes have conceded nine goals over their past two matches, a 5-1 loss at New York City FC on May 31 and a 4-2 home defeat to FC Cincinnati on Saturday. In the latter contest, Cincinnati’s Yuya Kubo scored three times in a nine-minute span late in the second half.

“It’s going to hurt because we had the game in our hands until we didn’t,” Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “It’s about control. We control the next moment and we’re never going to give up.

“I’m not going to ever give up. These guys won’t give up. We’re going to learn and keep trying to figure this out. That’s what we can control.”

Portland holds a 17-7-10 lead in the MLS series between the teams.

–Field Level Media

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