Jeremy Ebobisse, Timbers deliver in 1st full-capacity match since COVID-19 originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest
In the most attended sporting event in the Rose City since the coronavirus pandemic began, the Portland Timbers (5-6-1) delivered a 1-0 victory over FC Dallas (2-6-5) thanks to a Jeremy Ebobisse goal in the 84th minute.
With the ball sneaking into the top corner of the net, the Timbers Army and surrounding faithful. all 23,255 of them, erupted after 80+ minutes of playing it safe against a Dallas team who is winless away from home.
Ebobisse's goal ended their three-match winless streak -- the first since their 2-1, home victory over Sporting Kansas City on June 19.
In fact, it was the 300th goal in Timbers MLS history, but to Ebobisse, it meant three points which are far more important.
“To be honest, I didn’t know it was the 300th goal, but it’s a goal that led to three points, and ultimately that’s what’s most important to me," he explained.
However, the goal wasn't the largest takeaway from the event for the Timbers manager. That goes to the other side of the scoreboard, the team's clean sheet.
"It was a very strong performance and a very important win. It’s not only the 1-0, it’s zero goals against," said Giovanni Savarese. "Defending very well set pieces, defending well all around when we needed to do 1v1, the small details and the individual battles were executed. That's credit to the guys. They performed very, very well."
“It was important to get back at home and get a win …,” Ebobisse added after the game. “To come out with a clean sheet, that’s a big one for us. We haven’t had too many of those this year. For me to get a goal, as well, to keep a good rhythm going, that’s something I hope I can take some confidence from and the team can continue to win, because we’ve got a lot of games coming.”
Goalkeeper Steve Clark said the clean sheet "was a full team defensive effort."
"We were compact and the guys defended really well. My job is to make a couple saves and I was able to do that tonight, so it feels good.”
Clark later gave credit to the fans for energizing his team.
“The fans really do make it a lot more fun and because it does feel like work when the fans weren't there," said Clark. "They mean a lot to us and it was a tight game today and certainly we made the difference on the field today but they were pushing us.”
In addition to fans back in the stands fully, the team also welcomed back Yimmi Chara and Felipe Mora after their stints participating in Copa América.
The game did not sell out, however, breaking a sellout streak of 163 games.
Next, Portland hosts LAFC on Wednesday, July 21st at 7:30 p.m. PST.