A first-half goal by striker Aritz Aduriz was the difference as Spanish La Liga side Valencia CF defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 before 19,564 fans in an international friendly at JELD-WEN Field on Wednesday night.
Opening their post-season, U.S. Tour in Portland, Valencia claimed the lead four minutes from halftime on a goal by one of the club's leading scorers from last season in Aduriz.
In between league matches, the Timbers utilized 22 players in the exhibition and created several quality chances, holding a 15-10 advantage in shots against one of La Liga's top clubs.
Aduriz, who scored seven goals during the 2011-12 La Liga campaign, struck for the match's lone goal in the 41st minute from the top of the box. He received the ball in enough space to unload a low, rolling shot from out along the right post. The ball skipped just under the reach of Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins and found its way inside the far post.
The Timbers out-shot Valencia 8-5 in the first half, and forced Valencia goalkeeper Diego Alves in to action early with a shot by midfielder Kalif Alhassan in the 7th minute. In the 29th minute, a hard-working run down the left flank by midfielder Franck Songo'o set up forward Jorge Perlaza for a bouncing shot on the right post, which Alves was able to control. Songo'o also had a dangerous shot of his own deflected out.
Along with his goal, Aduriz provided the more dangerous chances for Valencia in the opening half. A build-up down the right side went through midfielder Pablo along the end line and found Aduriz in the middle of the box, but Aduriz's show was deflected over the mark in the 43rd minute. Earlier the half, Aduriz nearly connected on the end of a long ball played into the box, but his extended boot poked the ball just wide of the right post.
Portland had close chances at the equalizer in the second half. Midfielder Freddie Braun ripped a shot from the top of the area just wide of the left post in the 65th minute, one of three shots by the Timbers around the hour mark. The Timbers best chance of the half came five minute from time, when forward Mike Fucito's work in the box set up forward Bright Dike, rejoining the team from his loan for the match, with a shot from near the penalty spot. Dike's right-footed blast was deflected on its way to the goal and out of play.
Valencia concludes its two-game, U.S. Tour on May 31 against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The Timbers return to league play Saturday as they play host to Cascadia rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Portland's first Cascadia Cup match of the 2012 campaign will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS, with radio broadcasts available on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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