In the MLS Finals re-match it was the Portland Timbers that again came away on top beating Columbus Crew SC 2-1, the same score as in last year’s final.
Diego Valeri, part of arguably the best three-man midfield in the league, opened the scoring on a free kick from about 20 yards out on the left side of the box in the 22nd minute. It was a teasing kick that could have been touched by a few players but instead dipped into the 6-yard box and went across the face of goal untouched before finding the bottom right corner.
The defending champs had the majority of the chances throughout most of the game until Crew midfielder Federico Higuain put in a ticket for goal of the year in the 67th. After a deflected cross from Ethan Finlay ended up behind Higuain, the midfielder got a touch to it and completed a stunning bicycle kick to put the Crew back on level terms.
YouTube: Federico Higuaín – Overhead Bicycle Kick – GOAL – Portland Timbers 2-1 Columbus Crew – MLS 2016
The Timbers, however, would go back in front just 10 minutes later after Fenendo Adi touched home a rebound for the Timbers second goal of the match.
Minutes later the Crew had one final chance as Higuain again tried some magic but his side-volley hit the post and with that the Timbers won the rematch of last season’s final.
Although shots in the match were pretty even with Portland having 20 and Columbus 19, the Timbers doubled the Crew’s shots on goal leading the category 8-4. The match was also a relatively heated on with five yellow cards being presented.
After week one, the Timbers are third in the Western Conference only behind on goal differential and last year’s Eastern Conference champions fall to seventh in the East. Next week the Timbers travel to San Jose to face the Earthquakes and the Crew head home to face an already struggling Philadelphia Union side.