NEW YORK – Dairon Asprilla’s 79th-minute strike, his first career Major League Soccer goal, lifted the Portland Timbers to a 1-0 win over New York City FC Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
Darlington Nagbe started the sequence with a penetrating run through midfield before tapping the ball to teammate Gastón Fernández. NYCFC were unable to clear at the top of the box and the ball fell to Asprilla, whose shot took a deflection off defender Kwame Watson-Siriboe and in.
Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey came up big in the late minutes of the game for Portland. NYC Rookie Khiry Shelton had two terrific opportunities to equalize in the 88th minute, but his shot from 16 yards was right at Kwarasey. Seconds later, Shelton was played in by Pablo Alvarez, but Kwarasey came off his line to make a heroic save.
After a scoreless first half, Portland (2-2-3) had a golden chance two minutes into the second half when miscommunication between Chris Wingert and Josh Saunders resulted in a deliberate back pass and an indirect free kick from the edge of the box.
Nagbe’s attempt, though, deflected off defender Watson-Siriboe at the end of the wall for a Portland corner.
In the 58th minute, Patrick Mullins forced Kwarasey to dive to his left to save his low shot before Liam Ridgewell cleared.
Saunders came up big for NYCFC (1-3-3) in the 69th minute when he came off his line to challenge Ishmael Yartey, who was played in behind on a clever Nagbe chip. The rebound popped to Fanendo Adi, but Jeb Brovsky slid in to avert the danger.
Nagbe again turned provider in the 75th minute, slotting to an open Adi on the left, but the Nigerian Designated Player had his low shot blocked by Watson-Siriboe for a corner.
Three minutes later, Mullins had an open header on the other end after latching onto a Brovsky cross, but the forward headed over the bar.
The game's first quality scoring chance went to NYCFC in the 16th minute when Shelton fed Mullins, who took a touch inside the box and lashed a shot from 17 yards out on frame. But Kwarasey parried it away for a corner. It was one of the Ghanian's five saves on the night.
Next up, the Timbers meet rival Seattle next Sunday at CenturyLink Field (6:30 pm PT, Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes, TSN1 in Canada) while New York City FC will look to snap a five-game winless streak when they head to Chicago to take on the Fire Friday (5 pm PT, Univision Deportes).
Portland Timbers (2-2-3, 9pts) at New York City FC (1-3-3, 6pts)
April 19, 2015 – Yankee Stadium (New York, N.Y.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
New York City FC 0 0 0
POR: Asprilla, 79
POR: Powell (Caution), 68
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Villafaña, M Jewsbury, M Chara, M Yartey (Fernández, 74), M Nagbe, M Asprilla (Jeanderson, 90+3), F Adi (Urruti, 84)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Paparatto, M Fochive
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Adi, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 12 (Asprilla, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 5; SAVES: 5
NYC: GK Saunders, D Brovsky (Alvarez, 83), D Wingert, D Watson-Siriboe, D Calle, M Grabavoy, M Ballouchy (Poku, 74), M Jacobson, F Taylor (Velasquez, 35), F Mullins, F Shelton
Substitutes Not Used: GK Meara, D Mendoza, M McNamara, F Nemec
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Mullins, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Mullins, Shelton, 2); FOULS: 12 (Grabavoy, Mullins, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 8; SAVES: 2
Referee: Armando Villarreal
Assistant Referees: Craig Lowry, Brian Poeschel
4th Official: Jose Carlos Rivero
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 51 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial