Vancouver Whitecaps fall to undermanned Portland Timbers

Vancouver-Whitecaps-defender-Jake-Nerwinski-(28)-fights-for-control-of-the-ball-with-Portland-Timbers-midfielder-Sebastian-Blanco-(10)-during-the-first-half-of-MLS-soccer-action-in-Vancouver-on-Sunday,-July,-23,-2017.-(Jonathan-Hayward/CP)

Vancouver Whitecaps defender Jake Nerwinski. (Jonathan Hayward/CP)

VANCOUVER – Sebastian Blanco scored early in the second half as the undermanned Portland Timbers snapped a six-game winless streak with a gutsy 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sunday afternoon.

Jeremy Ebobisse had Portland’s other goal and also set up the winner, while Andrew Jacobson replied for Vancouver.

With injuries, suspensions and the CONCACAF Gold Cup wreaking havoc on the Timbers’ roster, Ebobisse opened the scoring in the 14th minute in his first start in Major League Soccer before Jacobson tied things up in the 45th.

Blanco then gave his team its second lead in the 49th minute when the Argentine midfielder sliced through the Whitecaps defence before getting a backheel return pass from Ebobisse and rolling the ball past a helpless David Ousted to send the Timbers’ boisterous travelling supporters at B.C. Place Stadium into a frenzy.

Vancouver (8-8-3) was coming off consecutive wins — 3-2 over New York City FC at home on July 5 and a 1-0 road triumph over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday — while Portland (8-8-6) entered play on a 0-3-3 run.

The Timbers, who started the season 5-2-1, picked up their first victory in MLS since June 10. Portland now sits three points up on Vancouver for fourth in the Western Conference, but the Whitecaps do have three games in hand.

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