Marvin Loria and Jeremy Ebobisse each scored second-half goals to give the Portland Timbers a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps in a rainy Cascadia Cup rivalry match on Saturday night.
Sebastian Blanco also scored for the Timbers, who were playing the first of a 10-match homestand at Providence Park. Portland (10-9-4) extended its unbeaten streak at home to six games.
“Overall we managed the game really well,” Portland captain Diego Valeri said. “In the end, collectively, a strong performance.”
The Cascadia Cup, created by supporters of the Timbers, Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders, is awarded to the winner of the head-to-head competition between the three teams each season, based on points.
The Whitecaps, who beat Cincinnati 2-1 on the road last weekend, were undefeated in their last two matches after a five-game losing streak. Vancouver (5-12-9) has won just twice on the road this season.
“I think today we did enough offensively on the road to get goals,” Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos said. “We scored one, we could have easily scored two, and unfortunately it didn’t happen.”
The Timbers were coming off a 2-1 loss in a U.S. Open Cup semi-final match to Minnesota United. It was the second straight loss to the Loons at Allianz Field: Portland lost 1-0 in an MLS match last Sunday.
“Overall a very good performance and now we need to make sure we keep on working, we keep on getting better, and now we have another one on Wednesday,” Portland coach Giovanni Savarese said.
The Timbers played without top scorer Brian Fernandez, who Savarese said was sore after the trip to Minnesota. Fernandez was expected back at training on Monday. Portland hosts Chicago on Wednesday.
Blanco put the Timbers up in the 28th minute. Whitecaps goal keeper Maxime Crepeau got his hands on the blast from outside the penalty box but he couldn’t keep it out of the net. It was Blanco’s fourth goal of the season.
The goal came with the Timbers playing a man up on Vancouver after Ali Adnan went down on a hard collision in front of the Whitecaps’ goal. Vancouver subbed in Brett Levis, but not until the 30th minute.
The Whitecaps knotted the score about 10 minutes later on Theo Bair’s volley past Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark. It was the 19-year-old Ottawa native’s first career MLS goal.
The Timbers were angry at the end of the first half because of what appeared to be a missed handball that would have given the team a penalty kick. Savarese jawed at the refs as they prepared to walk off the field.
Loria put the Timbers back in front in the 55th minute with another strike from outside the box. Two minutes later Yordy Reyna chipped the ball past Clark and into the net but it was ruled offside.
Ebobisse’s 90th-minute goal in the pouring rain was his eighth of the season.
“We love the rain, when I walked out I was jazzed, and so was everyone else,” Timbers defender Zarek Valentin said.
The Timbers will play 11 of their final 12 games at home. The team started the season with a 12-game road trip because of construction to expand Providence Park.
The Whitecaps defeated the Timbers 1-0 back on May 5 in Vancouver. The team returns home to face D.C. United next Saturday.