June 18, 2017 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Portland Timbers
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. - After conceding a pair of goals in the second half, the Portland Timbers fell 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids before 15,461 fans at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on Saturday night. Midfielder Sebastián Blanco scored the Timbers lone goal in the match, recording his second goal of the season in the first half.
The 2-1 result is just the second loss for Portland (7-6-3, 24pts) in the last eight games played between the two teams in league play, dating back to July 18, 2014. Additionally, the Rapids' opening goal marked the first time the Timbers have conceded in 231 minutes of regular-season action.
Controlling the run of play in the first half, the Timbers opened the scoring in the 18th minute of play when Blanco curled a powerful effort into the top corner to give Portland a 1-0 advantage. Blanco gave the Timbers the lead after receiving the ball from midfielder Diego Valeri on the left side of the box, cutting inside on his right foot before blasting the ball into the far corner.
Moments before halftime, the Timbers came close to extending their lead with consecutive near chances. In the 37th minute, Portland worked the ball to the right side of the box, with Valeri driving a cross to the near post to forward Fanendo Adi, whose header went just wide of the target. One minute later, Blanco ran at the Colorado defense and hit a powerful shot on frame from distance, forcing a finger-tip save from Colorado goalkeeper Tim Howard.
Opening the second half, Portland came close to adding its second goal of the game when midfielder Darlington Nagbe carried the ball into the box, setting up a chance for Blanco that forced another strong save from Howard. Pouncing on the rebound on the edge of the six-yard box, Adi shrugged off his defender before hitting a shot that went high of the target.
Colorado (5-8-1, 16pts) managed to equalize against the run of play three minutes later when a through ball from forward Kevin Doyle slipped Dominique Badji in behind the defense for a one-on-one chance, with the striker chipping his effort into the back of the net.
Continuing to push forward in search of the game-winning goal, the Timbers produced another chance to score in the 74th minute when midfielder Dairon Asprilla fired a strong chance from inside the 18-yard box, but a last-ditch tackle from Colorado defender Marlon Hairston blocked the ball away from danger.
With one minute remaining in the game, Colorado was able to take the lead when second-half substitute Alan Gordon managed to find the back of the net from a cross into the box, flicking a looping header into the far corner.
Next up, the Timbers will travel to face Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday, June 21. Beginning at 5 p.m. (Pacific), the match against Minnesota United will be broadcast live on PDX TV (KPDX) with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish). Note