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Shivered by Timbers: San Jose Earthquakes 1, Portland Timbers 6

Quakes struggle in second meeting this week against foe.

MLS: Portland Timbers at San Jose Earthquakes Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The San Jose Earthquakes’ winless run in the MLS regular season extended to seven games, as they lost 6-1 to the Portland Timbers Saturday at Earthquakes Stadium.

It was the second meeting between the teams at the venue in four days, but unlike Wednesday’s 1-1 draw between the sides, this time San Jose were very much second-best throughout the game as they continue to struggle in the local phase of play in the disjointed 2020 season.

Matias Almeyda, dealing with an injury crisis at center back, started effectively the two guys left available, Florian Jungwirth and rookie Tanner Beason. He also gave Carlos Fierro and Eric Calvillo rare starts with the team on short rest.

In the 23rd minute, Shea Salinas was whistled for a handball in San Jose’s box and a penalty was called for the Timbers. Diego Valeri converted the penalty two minutes later to give Portland the 1-0 lead.

The visitors made quick work to make it 2-0, with Jeremy Ebobisse scoring two minutes later, as he headed Jorge Villafaña’s long cross in.

Credit to San Jose for not giving up on the game, and they finally found their reward just before halftime, as Fierro scored his first goal in MLS with a nice strike in the 44th minute, and the teams went into the break with the Timbers leading 2-1.

Fierro’s goal proved to be the only highlight on the night for the home side, as the visitors otherwise controlled the big plays.

With San Jose pushing to get an equalizer, Valeri scored his second goal of the night in the 57th minute, with the shot from the edge of the box deflecting off multiple Quakes players on the way in.

Fierro looked like he had a chance to score again a few minutes later on a jailbreak, but Julio Cascante had a timely tackle in Portland’s box to block the Mexican’s shot.

With the game falling out of reach, Almeyda made four subs at once just after the hour mark, bringing in attacking weapons Chris Wondolowski, Vako and Cristian Espinoza as well as Tommy Thompson to try and mount a full comeback.

But Yimmi Chara scored his second goal in as many games against San Jose, as Ebobisse’s deflected shot outside the box was saved by Vega, but his rebound set up perfectly for Chara to slam it in at the back post in the 70th minute. Cascante then made it five goals for the Timbers in the 85th minute, with a header off Valeri’s corner kick. Substitute Jaroslaw Niezgoda then scored a couple minutes later to make it 6-1 for Portland.

So it was a tough night, one where the Quakes didn’t play terribly, but a few momentary lapses sunk them again. For a team that can’t buy a win, that’s not really good enough, and the flickering hopes they can turn around the season if they can just start winning are dying out, because they’re just not winning. It’s a tough spot right now.

The Quakes are next scheduled to play Wednesday, when they’ll take on the Colorado Rapids in Colorado. Will the new opponent and setting lead to a long-awaited win? We’ll see what happens.

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