PORTLAND, Ore. – Despite holding a 24-12 edge in shots and maintaining 61 percent possession, the Portland Timbers fell 2-1 to New York City FC before a sold-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Sunday evening.
Following New York City FC forward David Villa’s opening goal in the 12th minute of play, Portland (3-6-3, 12pts) scored the equalizer 10 minutes into the second half when forward Fanendo Adi drove at the defense, powering his way into the box before slotting the ball past goalkeeper Josh Saunders. Adi’s finish marks his eighth goal of the season, placing him in a tie for first in MLS for goals scored in 2016.
New York City FC (4-3-4, 16pts) took the lead in the 65th minute when midfielder Thomas McNamara curled his effort from the edge of the box into the top corner, providing the visitors with a 2-1 advantage.
Recording their second-highest shot output in a game this season and 486 passes, a new club MLS record, the Timbers attacked New York City FC early in the match and created numerous goal-scoring opportunities in both halves, while also producing eight more corners than New York City (10-2).
In fourth minute of play, Portland midfielder Lucas Melano’s cross into the area caused difficulties for Saunders, who parried the ball into the path of Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri just outside the six-yard box. Valeri took a touch before firing a driven effort, but a sliding challenge from defender Frederic Brilliant deflected it wide.
In the 16th minute, midfielder Darlington Nagbe pounced onto Valeri’s pass inside the box, eluding his marker before firing a curling shot that forced Saunders to make a diving save, pushing the ball wide of the target for a corner.
Continuing to search for an equalizer, the Timbers created a flurry of chances leading up to halftime, with defender Nat Borchers heading Valeri’s corner kick just over the crossbar, while Nagbe and Valeri produced consecutive efforts in the 38th minute of play that nearly found the back of the net. But, a well-timed tackle from New York City’s defense and a finger-tip save from Saunders pushed the ball away from danger.
Remaining aggressive, Portland opened the second half with additional chances to score. In the 47th minute, Nagbe’s low and driven effort, heading for the bottom corner, forced another tough save from Saunders. Two minutes later, Adi connected with defender Jermaine Taylor’s cross into the box, placing his shot on target, but Saunders managed to make his fifth save of the game, deflecting Adi’s chance from point-blank range.
Late in the game, second-half substitute Jack McInerney’s header on Valeri’s corner narrowly missed the frame, while Melano’s attempt at an overhead volley in the 88th minute went just high of the target.
Next up, the Timbers will play host to Cascadia-rival Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sunday, May 22; kickoff is set for 1:30 p.m. (Pacific). The match against Vancouver will feature a national broadcast on ESPN with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (3-6-3, 12pts) vs. New York City FC (4-3-4, 16pts)
May 15, 2016 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
New York City FC 1 1 2
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
NYC: Villa (Allen), 12
POR: Adi (Nagbe), 55
NYC: McNamara (Pirlo), 65
NYC: Allen (Caution), 24
POR: Zemanski (Caution), 38
NYC: Saunders (Caution), 87
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Valentin, D Borchers (Barmby, 76), D Ridgewell ©, D Taylor, M Zemanski (Grabavoy, 82), M Jewsbury, M Melano, M Valeri, M Nagbe, F Adi (McInerney, 58)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hamilton, M Brett, D Klute, F Polk
TOTAL SHOTS: 24 (Valeri, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 8 (Adi, 3); FOULS: 4 (Zemanski, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 10; SAVES: 4
NYC: GK Saunders, D Allen, D Brillant, D Hernandez, D Matarrita, M Diskerud (Ballouchy, 74), M Lopez, M Pirlo (Iraola, 90), F Shelton, F Villa ©, F McNamara (White, 84)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Johansen, F Mendoza, M Poku, F Taylor
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Villa, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Villa, 3); FOULS: 6 (Six players tied, 1) ; OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 7
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Jeff Hosking, Eduardo Mariscal
4th Official: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: Showers, 57 degrees