Toronto torches Timbers
An opportunistic goal opened the floodgates and Toronto FC overwhelmed the Portland Timbers on Saturday.
The top team in Major League Soccer, Toronto blitzed Portland 4-1.
All of the goals came in the second half as Portland fell to 9-9-7, a record that could drop the Timbers out of the playoff six depending upon results later on Saturday.
Justin Morrow scored two goals for Toronto. Victor Vazquez and Marco Delgado also as the Timbers allowed four goals in a half for the first time in their MLS history.
Toronto is 13-3-8 for 47 points, best in MLS, and 9-0-3 at home.
Diego Valeri scored his 50th career goal for Portland. Valeri scored in the 90th minute, picking up a pass from Jeremy Ebobisse and dribbling through several defenders before beating goalkeeper Alexander Bono.
Valeri now has 50 goals and 50 assists in his Timbers career.
The match was scoreless until the 58th minute. Transitioning after a Timbers corner kick, Toronto got players forward. A cross from Sebastian Giovinco found Morrow after Alvas Powell missed on a clearing chance.
The Timbers had a couple of chances with the scores 1-0, including a header by Valeri from a tough angle that wound up going across the front of goal and a chance for Mattocks that wound up going right to Bono.
Vazquez made it 2-0 at the end of a nice buildup and passing combination in the 72nd minute. Morrow got his second from point-blank range in the 76th and Delgado made it 4-0 in the 87th.
Portland had several chances before the game got out of hand, one of them a half volley from David Guzman that went high.
Lawrence Olum later flicked a chance from a Portland corner kick high from close range.
Portland played without defender Liam Ridgewell and striker Fanendo Adi because of injuries. Olum started to the left of Larrys Mabiala in central defense, with Vytas and Powell at the outside backs. Darren Mattocks started up top.
Goalkeeper Jake Gleeson left about 15 minutes into the match with an apparent hamstring injury.
The game was scoreless at half as the Timbers withstood pressure from Toronto for much of the first 45 minutes. Gleeson made a nice diving stave on a Giovinco free kick in the third minute. Vytas made a big tackle on Giovinco inside the penalty area in the first half.
The Timbers return home for two matches in six days. They play host to the New York Red Bulls on Friday and Colorado on August 23.