Dairon Asprilla scored in his third consecutive game after assisting Yimmi Chara's opening goal as the streaking Portland Timbers damaged LAFC's postseason hopes with a 2-1 victory on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium.
Asprilla's 59th-minute winner secured fourth-place Portland's third straight win and sixth in seven matches, while sending LAFC to a third consecutive defeat. With a win, LAFC could've pulled within a point of the seventh and final Western Conference place in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.
The Timbers completed a three-match season sweep of LAFC with the win, which amounts to their nine-point cushion in their place to secure a playoff spot.
Halftime sub Danny Musovski leveled the match 10 minutes after the break for LAFC, which lost at home for just the third time this season.
The hosts briefly believed they had a chance to level the match when referee Joseph Dickerson thought he spotted a handball on Chara, but the call was correctly overturned following Video Review.
- 45' - POR - Yimmi Chara
- 55' - LAFC - Danny Musovski
- 59' - POR - Dairon Asprilla
- THE BIG PICTURE: As Portland creep closer to the playoffs, their chances in the second season may hinge on the injury news for 2020 MLS is Back Tournament MVP Sebastian Blanco. Recently fully recovered from an ACL tear suffered in September of 2020, Blanco left in the 53rd minute with an apparent leg injury. As for LAFC, the best news is that they face an El Trafico fixture this weekend against an LA Galaxy side that may be in even worse form, in what is another playoff six-pointer.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: All signs pointed to LAFC being the more likely team to score a winning goal after pulling level 10 minutes after the break. But on what began as an innocent looking ball, Felipe Mora craftily turned defender Jesus Murillo to set the Timbers off on a break. Mora struck the right post, but Asprilla's hustle put him in position to smash in an absolute cracker of a rebound attempt.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Dairon Asprilla. While the return to health of Blanco and more recently Jaroslaw Niezgoda have given the Timbers more confidence, it's Asprilla's form that has set them a-light over the last seven matches, including here. As well as two scoring involvements, Asprilla was an enormous source of energy for the Timbers, contesting a game-high 17 duels.
- LAFC: Sunday, Oct. 3 at Galaxy | 5pm PT (ESPN)