PORTLAND, Ore. – Sporting Kansas City solved the Portland Timbers the second time around, making an early first-half goal by Lawrence Olum stand up in a 1-0 win Friday night at Providence Park.
In the teams’ second meeting in a four-day span, Sporting employed a physical approach, resulting in 22 fouls, to shut down a Timbers attack that ran roughshod in a 3-1 victory Tuesday in a fifth-round US Open Cup victory Tuesday at Sporting Park.
With their second consecutive victory on the heels of a five-game winless streak, SKC jump into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with D.C. United, pending the weekend’s upcoming games, with 25 points from 16 games.
Portland, who failed to see a payoff in using eight different players from their Tuesday lineup, were shut out for the first time since April 19 and remain just under the red line in sixth place in the Western Conference with 20 points from 17 games.
Sporting got the better of a rough-and-tumble first half, highlighted by their 11 fouls (just three for the Timbers in the half), when Olum was in the right place at the right time on a long Seth Sinovic throw-in into the penalty area at the 24-minute mark. The Timbers failed to clear and Olum eventually got his right foot to the ball for a rolling shot that beat goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
Otherwise, Portland controlled much of the action in early proceedings.
In the 37th minute it was Nagbe who just missed out on a header goal after a pin-point Diego Valeri cross, but his effort to the far post sailed a touch wide.
After the break, Sporting very nearly added to their lead in the 63rd minute when Soony Saad stripped Diego Chara as he attempted to clear from his own box. But Ricketts was there for the reaction save on the ensuing shot.
For most of the second half, however, Portland continued to press the issue, bringing on forward Gastón Fernández, who recorded a brace in each of the Timbers last two USOC games, in the 65th minute. Forward Maximiliano Urruti then came on the 82nd minute, as Portland went to a three-man backline in desperate search of an equalizer.
The Timbers best chance late came in the 82nd minute, when Adi once again got his head to a cross, this time from Danny O’Rourke, but his header in the box was high. Otherwise, the center back pairing of Aurelien Collin and Kevin Ellis did well to keep the dangerous opportunities to a minimum to preserve the victory.
Portland is back in action in a week’s time for a Fourth of July matchup on the road against the LA Galaxy, while Sporting play host to the Chicago Fire in a July 6 matinee.
Portland Timbers (4-5-8, 20pts) vs. Sporting Kansas City (7-5-4, 25pts)
June 27, 2014 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Sporting Kansas City 1 0 1
Portland Timbers 0 0 0
SKC: Olum (Ellis, Sinovic), 24
SKC: Sinovic (Caution), 36
SKC: Ellis (Caution), 65
SKC: Nagamura (Caution), 90+4
POR: Johnson (Caution), 90+5
SKC: Dwyer (Caution), 90+6
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Harrington (Urruti, 82), D O’Rourke, D Kah, D Villafaña, M Johnson ©, M Valeri, M Chara, F Nagbe, F Adi, F Wallace (Fernández, 65)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Jewsbury, D McKenzie, M Alhassan, M Nanchoff
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Adi, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Valeri, 2); FOULS: 10 (Chara, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 3
SKC: GK Kronberg, D Sinovic, D Ellis, D Collin, D Juliao, M Nagamura ©, M Peterson, M Zizzo (Martinez, 80), M Olum (Sapong, 56), F Saad, F Dwyer
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gruenebaum, D Palmer-Brown, M Martinez, M Medranda
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Dwyer, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 23 (Nagamura, 5); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 3
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Mike Kampmeinert, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 70 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial