Justin Morrow leads Toronto FC past Timbers 4-1
TORONTO (AP) — Justin Morrow scored twice in the second half, helping Toronto FC beat the Portland Timbers 4-1 on Saturday night.
Victor Vazquez and Marco Delgado also scored for Toronto (13-3-8), which improved to 9-0-3 at home this season. The Reds are also unbeaten in six straight overall (3-0-3).
Alex Bono was working on a shutout before Diego Valeri scored in the 89th minute for Portland (9-9-7), which had its three-game unbeaten streak snapped.
The Timbers had an opportunity to jump in front in the 55th minute off a nice one-touch header from Darren Mattocks, but David Guzman put his shot, from just inside the area, over the bar.
TFC responded two minutes later. Morrow picked up a loose ball outside the area and put his left-footed strike over Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella for his fourth goal of the season.
Vazquez made it 2-0 in the 72nd minute by redirecting a Sebastian Giovinco cross past Attinella for his fifth of the season.
Morrow added his fifth of the season, and Toronto took a 4-0 lead in the 87th minute when Delgado picked up the loose ball off of Tosaint Ricketts run and found the back of the net for his second goal of the year.
“I don’t think we can be happy with the way the game went in the first half today,” Morrow said. “We responded in the second half, but I think that was a character thing. We challenged ourselves, we spoke at halftime.
“I think there were a couple plays in the first half where we let ourselves down.”
Valeri finally got the Timbers on the board in the 90th minute, beating Bono from the area for his 13th of the season.
Both sides were forced to make early first half substitutions.
Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson appeared to injure his left hamstring in the 13th minute after pulling up while chasing a loose ball in the area. He tried to play through it, but was replaced by Attinella in the 18th minute.
The Reds lost Nick Hagglund in the 15th minute due to a left knee sprain. The defender was chasing down a Timbers attacker just outside the area when he fell awkwardly and caught his left leg underneath his body.
Jason Hernandez replaced Hagglund, who tore the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in May and was making just his second start since returning.
“It’s a sprained knee, not the same extent as the last one,” TFC coach Greg Vanney said. “Hopefully a quicker turnaround, hopefully we got him before anything too serious.”
Saturday was the lone meeting of the season between the two clubs. The Timbers won the only contest last year 2-1.