PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers defeated Minnesota United FC 5-1 before a sold-out crowd of 21,144 fans at Providence Park on Friday night, marking the Timbers’ largest victory in a season-opening match during the team’s MLS era.
Three different players scored for Portland in the win, with forward Fanendo Adi and midfielder Diego Valeri each recording a brace and defender Lawrence Olum scoring his first MLS goal for the club, as the Timbers recorded five goals at home in a regular-season match for the first time in MLS. Additionally, defender Vytas and midfielder Darlington Nagbe recorded their first assists of the season, while midfielder Sebastián Blanco notched his first MLS assist in his regular-season debut, as Portland converted five of its six shots on target.
Attacking early in the game, the Timbers (1-0-0, 3pts) opened the scoring less than 15 minutes into the match when a well-placed free kick from Valeri created the scoring chance for Olum in the 14th minute of play. Valeri’s set piece found defender Vytas at the near post, who flicked the ball across the face of goal to Olum for a close-range finish.
Two minutes into the second half, Portland doubled its lead when Valeri scored a whipping header from Blanco’s curling cross into the box. The finish occurred after an effective combination play from the Timbers, with Adi receiving defender Alvas Powell’s driven pass with his back to goal, before playing the ball out wide for Blanco, who found Valeri at the back post for the header.
Following a finish from United (0-1-0, 0pts) striker Christian Ramirez in the 79th minute, the Timbers scored three goals in the final 11 minutes of the match to extend their lead late in the second half. Just three minutes after Ramirez’s goal, Portland struck for its third finish of the game when Adi was brought down by defender Vadim Demidov inside the box, allowing Valeri to score his second goal of the game, with the midfielder burying his effort from the penalty spot into the far left corner.
With Portland continuing to push numbers forward, Adi managed to record his brace in the final three minutes of the game, scoring in the 91st and 93rd minutes, respectively. After surging forward on the counter attack, Nagbe played the ball inside the box to Adi, who cut past Demidov and goalkeeper John Alvbage, before calmly slotting the ball into the back of the net. Two minutes later, Adi picked up the ball inside Minnesota’s half, powerfully driving into the box, before blasting a strong left-footed effort into the far corner from the left side of the area.
Next up, the Timbers will hit the road for the first time in 2017, traveling to face the LA Galaxy on Sunday, March 12, at the StubHub Center. The March 12 match will be broadcast live on FS1 with local radio broadcasts on 750 AM/102.9 FM The Game (English) and La GranD 1150 AM/93.5 FM (Spanish); kickoff is set for 4 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland Timbers (1-0-0, 3pts) vs. Minnesota United FC (0-1-0, 0pts)
March 3, 2017 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Minnesota United FC 0 1 1
Portland Timbers 1 4 5
POR: Olum (Vytas, Valeri), 14
POR: Valeri (Blanco), 47
MIN: Ramirez (Venegas), 79
POR: Valeri (Penalty kick), 82
POR: Adi (Nagbe), 90+1
POR: Adi, 90+3
POR: Chara (Caution), 24
MIN: Venegas (Caution), 81
Lineups & Stats:
POR: GK Gleeson, D Powell, D Olum, D Ridgewell ©, D Vytas, M Guzmán, M Chara, M Blanco (Asprilla, 75), M Valeri (Mattocks, 85), M Nagbe, F Adi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Attinella, D Myers, D Okugo, D Farfan, M Barmby
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Valeri, Adi 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Adi, 3); FOULS: 11 (Guzmán, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 1
MIN: GK Alvbage, D Calvo, D Demidov ©, D Davis, D Taylor, M Schuller (Ramirez, 68), M Saeid, M Warner, F Venegas, F Kadrii (Ibarra, 87), F Molino
Substitutes Not Used: GK McLain, D Brent Kallman, D Venegas, M Ibson, M Martin
TOTAL SHOTS: 11 (Molino, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Molino, Ramirez 1); FOULS: 12 (Venegas, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referees: Jeremy Hanson, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Weather: Rain, 48 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial