MLS Review: Timbers move fourth, Martinez wins thriller for Atlanta

The Portland Timbers needed a rebound from their demoralizing loss at the hands of the Houston Dynamo on Saturday and got just that with a 3-2 victory against the Columbus Crew Wednesday night. 

The Crew, still not assured of a place in the MLS playoffs, jumped out to an early lead through Niko Hansen just seven minutes in. 

But Portland, coming off a 4-1 loss to the Dynamo, responded well. 

David Guzman had the home side back level 11 minutes later, with a strong run, and then finish, from Andy Polo putting the Timbers in front before the break. 

A bit of good fortune for Portland added a third when Columbus defender Lalas Abubakar finished into his own net. 

The Crew were not to go down without a fight, and Hansen netted his second of the night in stoppage time, but it wasn’t enough for the visitors. 

For Portland, the win moves the club into fourth place in the Western Conference and handed the club a bit of breathing room on the playoff-chasing pack. 

The Seattle Sounders had their winning streak snapped by the Philadelphia Union, who finished with 10 men but managed to work out a 1-0 win in stoppage time despite the disadvantage. 

Seattle had won a record nine league matches on the trot heading into the night and had gone 12 games unbeaten before the Union’s late stunner from Fabrice-Jean Picault. 

Atlanta United also found a late winner through Josef Martinez, who ran his single-season goal tally to 30 with a brace in a 4-3 thriller. 

Nick Lima and Danny Hoesen had the Earthquakes two goals in front before Hector Villalba pulled one back for Atlanta on the stroke of halftime. 

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Valeri Qazaishvili struck just before the hour mark to restore the two-goal lead for San Jose, but Martinez struck from the penalty spot and Miguel Almiron had the game knotted at three goal apiece 72 minutes in, setting up the thrilling finish. 

Martinez found the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time with a powerful header to round off an entertaining night in MLS. 

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