Up Next – Portland Timbers 1, at Vancouver Whitecaps 2

FC Dallas plays at the Portland Timbers on Saturday.

By Clay Massey

VANCOUVER, British Columbia _ In the first of the Cascadia Cup series, a goal by sub Robert Earnshaw at the death broke the hearts of Timbers’ fans everywhere as it would prove to be the winner in the first Cascadia match of the 2015 MLS season.

The first goal came in the 15th minute when a great free-kick from about 5 yards outside the box curled into the bottom left corner from Nikolas Mezquida. The Whitecaps led 1-0 and would hold that lead for the remainder of the half.

The Timbers applied slight pressure, but could never generate a very dangerous chance. Their best chance came in the 35th minute when a corner from the left side squirted through in front of the Vancouver goal. It fell to Nat Borchers but he could not get a touch on it into the open net. Fernando Adi had a chance just five minutes later on a centering pass, but he slashed it wide.

Portland put Vancouver on the back foot, and got a goal in the 82nd minute when Fanendo Adi ripped in a loose ball that fell for him from a Rodney Wallace cross. That was the first goal allowed by the Whitecaps in 262 minutes of MLS play. Vancouver would not be denied the full three, and eventually exploited the weak Portland backline.

In stoppage time, after a significant save from Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted in the 89th minute, a cutting through ball by Pedro Morales left the Portland backline helpless. Robert Earnshaw went in one on one with Adam Larsen Kwarasey, and calmly slotted it past him to get the Whitecaps a 91st minute winner against their bitter Cascadia rivals.

The win gives Vancouver nine points in four games and leaves Portland wanting once again. The Whitecaps host the Los Angeles Galaxy next Saturday, while the Timbers host FCD Dallas.

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