Forward Danny Mwanga and defender Jack Jewsbury scored their first goals of the season as the Portland Timbers defeated the MLS-leading San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field on Tuesday night and extended their home unbeaten streak to six games.
Mwanga, making his first home start as a member of the Timbers, struck for the opening goal inside the first 30 minutes of the match and Jewsbury deposited a loose ball into the back of the net before the hour mark to stake the Timbers (5-7-4, 19pts) to a 2-0 lead over the Earthquakes (11-4-3, 36pts). Forward Alan Gordon pulled one back for San Jose in the 74th minute, but the Timbers' defense held the league's best offense to just three shots on goal to preserve the 2-1 win, ending the Earthquakes' three-game winning streak.
The Timbers struck for the opening goal for a fourth straight home match, taking a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. On a counter attack, midfielder Eric Alexander sprung midfielder Franck Songo'o down the right touchline. Songo'o chipped in a cross to Mwanga in on a run at the near post. With one touch, Mwanga re-directed the ball into the top far corner of the goal, beating a diving effort by Earthquakes goalkeeper David Bingham.
A set piece from near midfield by Songo'o in the 59th minute lifted the Timbers to a 2-0 advantage. The ball carried into box, where defender Futty Danso and Bingham challenged for it and the two players collided sending the ball bouncing towards the goal line. Jewsbury came rushing in on the back side and poked the ball into the back of the net as he slid across the line.
Gordon scored his sixth goal of the season in the 74th minute to cut the Timbers' lead in half. A cross in from the left side by defender Justin Morrow, was cleared out and fell to the feet of midfielder Marvin Chavez at the top of the box. Chavez sent a bouncing shot back into the area, but the ball took a slight deflection off a Timbers player near the six-yard box. Gordon was in the mix and ensured the ball found its way into the goal.
Portland narrowly missed two other scoring opportunities in the first half. In the 15th minute, Alexander drove a right-footed from inside the box off the base of the left post. Defender David Horst had a bouncing header off a corner kick saved off the line by Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca.
The Timbers return to the road Saturday for a third game in eight days, taking on Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium; kickoff is set for 6 p.m. (Pacific). Saturday's context will be televised live on KPDX, in Spanish on Estrella TV and across the Portland Timbers Television Network.
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