SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Playing their second match in four days, the Portland Timbers scored two second-half goals to defeat C.D. Dragon 2-1 in the 2016-17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League on Tuesday night. Forward Fanendo Adi opened the scoring for the Timbers, while midfielder Darlington Nagbe scored the game-winning goal in the 90th minute.
With the result, the Timbers (2-1-0, 6pts CCL) can advance out of the group stage and into the knockout round for the first time in team history with a win against Deportivo Saprissa in their final group-stage match on Oct. 19 at Providence Park.
Following C.D. Dragon’s (0-3-1, 1pt CCL) opening goal in the 54th minute – a finish from midfielder Kevin Melara from inside the 18-yard box – Portland equalized the score with 11 minutes remaining in the match when Adi powered a left-footed strike into the back of the net from inside the box after collecting a poor clearance by Dragon. The goal marked Adi’s 17th tally in all competitions this season.
Continuing to press forward, Portland took the lead in the final minute of the match when Nagbe scored his second free-kick finish in all competitions this season, curling a precise long-range effort past C.D. Dragon goalkeeper Henry Hernandez and into the top left corner. The goal signified Nagbe’s first career finish in CONCACAF Champions League play.
Outshooting Dragon 12-2 in the match, including a 7-2 edge in shots on target, the Timbers created a number of scoring opportunities throughout the game, including midfielder Ned Grabavoy’s chance, which forced a goal-line clearance in the 72nd minute of play. In the 88th minute, Adi headed the ball down to midfielder Diego Valeri with his back to goal, creating a clear chance for the midfielder, who forced a strong, point-blank save from Hernandez with two minutes remaining in the game.
Earlier in the match, Nagbe and midfielder Diego Chara combined in the middle of the field, leading to a well-placed through ball from Nagbe to forward Jack McInerney in the 28th minute. In a one-on-one situation with Hernandez, McInerney charged into the box, hitting his final effort just wide of the near post, while a powerful effort from Nagbe early in the second half forced a strong parry from Hernandez in the 55th minute of play.
Next up, the Timbers will return to league play on Saturday, Oct. 1, when it travels to face the Colorado Rapids at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, beginning at 6 p.m. (Pacific). Saturday’s match will feature a live broadcast on PDX TV (KPDX) with local radio broadcasts on KUFO 970AM and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (1-1-0, 3pts CCL) vs. C.D. Dragon (0-2-1, 1pts CCL)
Sept. 27, 2016 – Estadio Cuscatlan (San Salvador, El Salvador)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 2 2
C.D. Dragon 0 1 1
CD: Melara (Jack), 54
POR: Adi, 79
POR: Nagbe, 90
CD: Rodriguez (Caution), 11
CD Jack (Caution), 31
POR: Ridgewell (Caution), 76
POR: McInerney (Caution), 89
POR: Adi (Caution), 90+5
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell, D S. Taylor, D Ridgewell ©, D Valentin, M Chara, M Zemanski (Adi, 60), M Nagbe, M Valeri (Okugo, 90), M Grabavoy (Barmby, 76), F McInerney
Substitutes Not Used: GK Konopka, D J. Taylor, D Peay, M Jewsbury, M Okugo
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Valeri, McIneney, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Nagbe, Valeri, 2); FOULS: 17 (Ridgewell, 5); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 1
CD: GK Hernandez, D Benitez, D Hernandez, D Polio, M Lopez (Lopez, 77), M Jack, M Lizama, M Melara (Posadas, 69), F Rodriguez (Valencia, 86), F Howell
Substitutes Not Used: GK Sanchez, M Bely, M Portillo, M Benitez
TOTAL SHOTS: 5 (Howell, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Melara, Howell, 1); FOULS: 21 (Rodriguez, 5); OFFSIDES: 4; CORNER KICKS: 2; SAVES: 4
Referee: Jose Kellys
Assistant Referees: Ronald Bruna, Gabriel Victoria
4th Official: Jafeh Perea
Weather: Partly cloudy, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial