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Timbers top Chivas to stay in playoff hunt

The Portland Timbers kept their playoff hopes 0 win over Chivas USA at Jeld-Wen Field Wednesday night.

With the win, Portland, 32 points, pulls ahead of Chivas, 31 points, in the Western Conference standings, stealing sixth place from the Goats.

All of Portland's nine wins this season have come after scoring the opening goal, and Eric Brunner ensured that streak was kept alive as his 44th minute header handed the Timbers all three points.

Portland was a constant threat on the attack, but it was unconventionally the Timbers backline that looked the most dangerous in the opening half.

In the 32nd minute, a free kick delivered into the box was met by Portland defender David Horst, but his header was denied by brilliant point-blank save from Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Kennedy was unable to keep the Timbers at bay for long though, as a different Portland defender provided the telling goal just before halftime.

Brunner darted through the box, unmarked, to convert a late first-half corner kick with an excellent snap-header that left Kennedy with no chance.

Both teams had several quality scoring chances throughout the second half, but the match finished in favor of Portland with Brunner's goal proving to be the game-winner.

Portland (9-12-5) has now won two straight matches and is tied with Red Bull New York for the final wildcard playoff spot, as both teams have accumulated 32 points from 26 games.

The Timbers will travel to RFK Stadium to face D.C. United on Saturday. D.C., with 31 points on the season, is right on Portland's heals for the final wildcard spot, but has two games in hand.

Chivas (7-9-10) slips to seventh place in the Western Conference with 31 points. The club is still in the playoff hunt, just one point away from New York and Portland in the final wildcard slot.

The Goats will return to The Home Depot Center to host Real Salt Lake on Saturday.