PORTLAND, Ore. – A second-half goal by defender Danny Califf was the difference as Chivas USA defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 before a sellout crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday.
The capacity crowd was the Timbers’ 28th consecutive sellout for an MLS match at JELD-WEN Field.
The Timbers gave the Chivas USA defense all it could handle during the match, but it was Califf’s first goal of the season scored off a free kick in the 69th minute, which helped Chivas USA claim all three points. Portland attempted a season-high 19 shots and generated a season-high 11 corner kicks, forcing Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy made six saves to record the shutout.
Striker Kris Boyd attempted a team-high six shots and forward Brent Richards registered four shots in his first MLS start for the Timbers (5-12-4, 19pts). Portland was handed a fifth straight loss despite its backline limiting Chivas USA to just three shots on goal.
Califf scored his ninth career MLS goal, midfielder Ben Zemanski logged his first assist on the campaign and Kennedy picked up his seventh shutout of the season for Chivas USA (7-8-5, 26pts).
A foul near midfielder set up the free kick by Zemanski led to the game’s lone goal in the 69th minute. Zemanski’s long ball in dropped in near the penalty spot, and Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins left his line to challenge the play. Califf was able to get to the ball just ahead of Perkins and another Timbers defender and headed it in to an open goal.
The Timbers pressured the Chivas USA backline until the final moments of the match, attempting nine shots over the final 15 minutes. As part of a series of late chances, Boyd hit a blistering shot from the top of the box that Kennedy just tipped over the bar in the 81st minute. Following the play, Portland earned a pair of corner kicks, which led to a pair of shots by defender David Horst that just missed.
Portland had the better share of scoring opportunities in the first half, with Boyd and Richards, combing for all six of the club’s shots in the half. In the 20th minute, Richards headed a long free kick on for Boyd in the box, and Boyd back-heeled a pass to himself before hitting a volley just over the target.
The pair each had a chance before the half, including a low, driven shot by Richards from just beyond the top right corner of the box at Kennedy. Boyd was the recipient of a Diego Chara cross in the 42nd minute, that slipped through the hands of Kennedy. Boyd got just a piece of the ball on his shot attempt at the top of the six yard box and hit a short chip into the arms of Kennedy.