First-half goals from defender Mike Chabala and forward Jorge Perlaza combined with Eric Brunner's goal in the second half guided the Portland Timbers to a 3-0 victory over the Western Conference-leading LA Galaxy before a sellout crowd of 18,627 at JELD-WEN Field on Wednesday.
With their first home win since May 21, the Timbers ended the Galaxy's MLS-best, 14-match unbeaten streak.
Chabala scored his first goal of the season in the 26th minute and Perlaza finished a hard-working play in the 33rd to help the Timbers carry a 2-0 lead into halftime. Brunner headed in the insurance goal in the 68th minute off a corner kick by midfielder Sal Zizzo to put the Timbers on top 3-0. Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins recorded just one save, coming in the second half, to earn his fifth shutout of the season.
Perlaza registered his fifth goal of the season, Chabala scored his second-career MLS goal, Zizzo recorded an assist in his second straight match, midfielder Darlington Nagbe earned his first MLS assist and Diego Chara logged his third assist of the season to help the Timbers (7-10-4, 25pts) snap a six-match winless stretch at home.
The Galaxy (12-3-9, 45pts) were handed their first loss since May 1; it was just the club's third loss of the season. With eight shots in the second half, the Galaxy had seven different players attempt shots, including two from substitute Dan Keat. Portland's defense held the Galaxy, which entered the match ranked fourth in MLS with 32 goals on the season, without a single shot in the first half.
Chabala lifted the Timbers to a 1-0 lead in the 26th minute. He initiated the play on the left side and sent Nagbe loose on a run along the outside of the box. Nagbe spotted Chabala making a run toward the corner of the area and returned the pass. Running onto the ball, Chabala one-timed a right-footed blast past Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders and into the side netting on the far side of the goal.
Portland took a 2-0 lead in the 33rd minute on a hard-working effort by Perlaza at the top of the box. Off a throw in on the left side, forward Kenny Cooper quickly re-distributed the ball to Chara, who then slipped a pass to Perlaza along the top of the box. Fighting off his defender, Perlaza caught up to the pass and ripped a low, driven ball from 18 yards inside the right post.
Brunner added an insurance goal for the Timbers in the 68th minute. Zizzo dropped an in-swinging corner kick from the left side into the center of the box. Charging the ball from the back post, Brunner headed the ball back inside the top left corner from the top of the six yard box to put Portland up 3-0.
The Timbers put the Galaxy under pressure to defend for most of the first half, putting five of their nine first-half shots on goal. Saunders was forced to make all three of his saves in the first half.
After conceding two late goals in a draw against Toronto last weekend, the Timbers defense held strong through the final 45 minutes. Midfielder Juninho had one of the Galaxy's best scoring opportunities of the night in the 70th minute, when he received a layoff at the top right corner of the box and blasted a low shot on goal, but Perkins was quick to the ground to smother the shot. Keat attempted both of his shots inside the final eight minutes of the match.
The Timbers open a stretch of three straight on the road on Saturday as they face the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m. live on KPTV FOX 12 and estrellaTV (Spanish). Portland rounds out its road stretch at the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, Aug. 14, and at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Aug. 17.