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Portland improves MLS playoff chances

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- Alvas Powell, Maximiliano Urruti and Rodney Wallace scored in the second half in the Portland Timbers' 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday night.

Portland (8-8-10) moved into fifth place in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Vancouver (7-6-12). The top five will earn playoff spots.

Powell opened the scoring in the 51st minute. Diego Valeri threaded a ball into the box and the unmarked Powell headed it past goalkeeper David Ousted.

Urruti, a second-half substitute, scored in the 75th, taking a pass from Michael Harrington and blasting a shot that hit the crossbar and fell into the net behind Ousted.

Wallace made it 3-0 in the 79th, slipping behind the defense and converting a pass from Darlington Nagbe.

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