PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Andrew Jean-Baptiste had been planning a celebration for just this kind of moment.
The young Portland defender doffed his shirt after his goal in stoppage time gave the Portland Timbers a 2-1 victory over the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday night.
“Game winner. Nice body. Why not?” Jean-Baptiste joked.
His header got past Los Angeles goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini in the 94th minute after Ryan Johnson had evened the score at 1-all in the 27th minute. It was Jean-Baptiste’s first goal of the season.
With the victory, Portland moved into second place in the Western Conference behind Real Salt Lake.
The Galaxy were without forward Landon Donovan, who is playing with the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Donovan scored his 53rd career international goal and the United States defeated Cuba 4-1 in Salt Lake City earlier on Saturday.
The Timbers were without Will Johnson, playing for Canada, and Rodney Wallace, playing for Costa Rica, in the Gold Cup. Frederic Piquionne, who played in Martinique’s first two Gold Cup games, was listed as a reserve for Portland against the Galaxy.
The Galaxy had won two straight, including a 2-0 victory over FC Dallas at home last Sunday.
“We’re frustrated, we’re angry,” defender Sean Franklin said. “We’re a good team, we’re better than that, with the kind of team and talent we have. We have too much experience on this team to get zero points on the road.”
The Timbers were coming off a 1-0 road loss to the Columbus Crew last weekend, which snapped a 15-match undefeated streak for Portland under first-year coach Caleb Porter.
The Galaxy went ahead 1-0 on Marcelo Sarvas’ well-placed header in the 18th minute. The Timbers had not conceded a goal at Jeld-Wen Field in a league game since March 9.
Portland tied it when Darlington Nagbe fed a free kick to a charging Ryan Johnson to beat Cudicini. It was Ryan Johnson’s sixth goal of the season, tying him with Will Johnson for the team lead.
Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts defended a dangerously close penalty kick from Juninho, tipping it over the goal in the 37th minute. A few moments later, Ricketts came far out of the goal for a sliding stop on Gyasi Zardes’ breakaway.
He made another key save on another Zardes attempt in the 82nd minute.
Jean Baptiste said he never actually saw his goal go in.
“I heard the cheering, I saw the net move and I didn’t see their guy get up happy,” he said. “I was pretty sure it was a goal.”
Afterward Porter flashed a thumbs-up to the crowd.
“Winning teams, when you need more, you get more,” porter said. “Losing teams shrink.”
Attendance was announced at 20,674 for the Timbers’ 43rd consecutive sellout.
The two teams played to a scoreless draw on June 19 in Carson. The Galaxy is 4-2-1 all-time over the Timbers, who joined MLS in 2011.