Action from the MLS match between Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League participants Sporting Kansas City (blue jersey) and the host Portland Timbers on August 7, 2016. (Photo: Portland Timbers via Craig Mitchelldyer)
PORTLAND, Oregon -- You have to give Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter credit. He tries to be prepared for as many surprises as possible.
On Sunday, the Timbers went a man down in the 12th minute against Sporting Kansas City after Diego Chara was ejected for decking Benny Feilhaber. They managed to weather the storm until the 39th minute, when SKC’s Soni Mustivar was ejected for a hard tackle on Diego Valeri.
Once back on equal terms from a manpower perspective, the host ultimately exploded offensively for a 3-0 win, with all the goals coming in the last 25 minutes.
Being prepared for any predicament could go a long, long way in help the defending Major League Soccer champion achieve success in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League.
"You never know how a soccer game is going to go, but the good teams are prepared for everything, and we were prepared for that scenario," Porter noted. "We’ve won a game already being down a man. You never like it. It’s really rare when it happens to win, but you’ve just got to stay focused."
Something the Timbers accomplished commendably.
"We kept our composure, we defended well and when they got a red card the game was balanced," said forward Fanendo Adi, who scored the final goal in the 90th minute. "We came out in the second half really focused and we got the first goal out the gate for us and then the second came. It was a very good and intense game.”
Diego Valeri (65’) and Jack Jewsbury also netted for Portland.
Coming on the heels of SCCL opening 2-1 win over El Salvador’s Dragon on Wednesday– after two straight losses -- the MLS result was another boost to the Timbers’ confidence.
"The win has given us a lot of motivation knowing we could win against a very good team, putting up three goals in the second half," Adi concluded. "That’s a massive win for us.”
Portland doesn’t return to SCCL action until September 14, when it visits Group B rival Saprissa.