PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers came into Saturday night’s match against the New England Revolution in search of their first three-game winning streak of the club’s MLS existence. Fanendo Adi made it happen.
The Timbers striker came off the bench in the second half to score two late goals in a 2-0 victory at a raucous Providence Park.
Starting with what would be the game-winning goal on a set-piece header in the 86th minute, breaking a stalemate that seemed destined to end in a scoreless draw, Adi then sent the crowd into a frenzy three minutes later when he turned in an Alvas Powell cross on a counter attack to seal the victory.
The win moves Portland into fourth place in the Western Conference with 22 points from 15 games.
New England, without an injured Jermaine Jones and US international Juan Agudelo on the night, are sent home empty handed following their cross-country trip and riding a winless streak now at six games. They still, however, maintain their spot behind East-leading D.C. United with 21 points from 15 games.
Despite the 80-plus minutes of action without a goal, Portland came out flying – their attack led by Darlington Nagbe.
The Timbers' dynamic winger pushed a shot just wide in the third minute and didn’t let up. A stinging, right-footed blast from 10 yards beyond the penalty area in the 35th minute that had to be parried away by New England goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth was one of the Timbers’ best looks in the first half.
New England’s Kelyn Rowe tested Adam Kwarasey with a 19th-minute shot on a feed from Lee Nguyen, and the Portland goalkeeper was up to the task. That, and another Rowe shot in the 41st minute that was also dealt with by Kwarasey, proved to be New England’s only two shots of the first half.
Nagbe let fly from distance again right after the break, firing a right-footed missile in the 51st minute that required another fine effort from Shuttleworth. And another golden Timbers opportunity was denied by Shuttleworth again in the 74th minute when second-half substitute Adi laid off a header for Maximiliano Urruti in the middle of the box. But Urruti’s header was turned back on a diving Shuttleworth save.
While New England never quite had as much of the ball as the Timbers did – the Revs found dangerous chances on the counter and nearly got on the board when Charlie Davies made a deep run on the left wing in the 61st minute, but his left-footed shot rolled just wide of the far post.
A cutback and left-footed shot from Nguyen at the top of the box in the 76th minute had plenty of pace but was directed right at Kwarasey.
The game-winning goal was set up with a hard foul on Nagbe approximately 15 yards beyond the box. Left back Jorge Villafana took the free kick, sending in a perfectly placed curling ball to Adi, who rose in the box to head home past a hapless Shuttleworth.
New England return home for their next game, Saturday against the Chicago Fire. Portland enjoy a bye week before their next match, a US Open Cup showdown with Cascadia rival Seattle Sounders on June 16.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.
Portland Timbers (6-5-4, 22pts) vs. New England Revolution (5-4-6, 21pts)
June 6, 2015 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
New England Revolution 0 0 0
Portland Timbers 0 2 2
POR: Adi (Villafaña), 86
POR: Adi (Powell, Chara), 89
NE: Bunbury (Caution), 7
POR: Villafaña (Caution), 7
POR: Urruti (Caution), 39
NE: Woodberry (Caution), 45
NE: Nguyen (Caution), 85
POR: Wallace (Caution), 88
NE: Alston (Caution), 90+3
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Villafaña, M Johnson, M Chara, M Asprilla (Adi, 67), M Fernández (Wallace, 63), M Nagbe, F Urruti (Jewsbury, 90)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Paparatto, M Fochive, M Jewsbury, M Yartey
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Adi, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Adi, Nagbe, 2); FOULS: 10 (Chara, Urruti, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
NE: GK Shuttleworth, D Woodberry, D Farrell, D Goncalves, D Tierney, M Caldwell, M Dorman (Kobayashi, 84), M Bunbury (Alston, 64), M Nguyen, M Rowe, F Davies (Okoli, 78)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Knighton, M Neumann, M Smith, F Fagundez
TOTAL SHOTS: 4 (Rowe, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Rowe, 2); FOULS: 12 (Woodberry, 4); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 3
Referee: Jose Carlos Rivero
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Jeremy Hanson
4th Official: Daniel Radford
Time of Game: 1:52
Weather: Sunny, 87 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial