Jeremy Ebobisse and Sebastian Blanco scored second-half goals seven minutes apart Monday as the Portland Timbers moved atop the Group F standings in the MLS is Back Tournament near Orlando, Fla., with a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy.
Blanco not only scored his first goal of the season for the Timbers (2-1-0, 6 points), but he also earned an assist on Ebobisse's score.
In the 59th minute, the Timbers broke a scoreless tie when Ebobisse scored despite tight defensive pressure in front of the goal from the Galaxy midfielder Rolf Feltscher. Ebobisse deflected a pass from Blanco off the inside of his right knee and into the Los Angeles goal.
Blanco added a score of his own in the 66th minute when he picked up a loose ball on the right side of the Galaxy penalty area, dribbled through two defenders and scored with his left foot past Galaxy goalkeeper David Bingham.
The Galaxy (0-2-1, 1 point) did get their first goal of the season from high-profile roster addition Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who delivered in the 88th minute when he squeezed a right-footed shot past Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Hernandez had a number of other missed opportunities including a penalty shot that was stopped by Clark in the 13th minute. Hernandez, Mexico's all-time leading goal-scorer, missed an unmarked shot from near the penalty spot in the 48th minute when he blasted the ball over the crossbar, and he had a header hit off the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
The Galaxy also had a pair of goals disallowed in the final eight minutes because of offside calls.
The revamped Galaxy offense, which replaced Zlatan Ibrahimovic with Hernandez, has just two goals scored in three games this season.
The Timbers held on for the victory despite playing the final 15 minutes with 10 men after Dario Zuparic earned his second yellow card.
The victory puts Portland on top of Group F with three points. Los Angeles FC and the Houston Dynamo are tied for second place in the group with one point apiece after playing to a 3-3 tie earlier Monday.
--Field Level Media