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Columbus Crew SC 1, Portland Timbers 2 | MLS Match Recap

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Fanendo Adi bested Kei Kamara in a battle of physical target men as the Portland Timbers earned a 2-1 win over Columbus Crew SC in front of a packed house in Columbus.

Adi’s two goals were enough to best Columbus, who missed multiple chances to equalize after Kamara’s league-leading 22nd goal of the season.

A match that promised to be entertaining delivered in the first half with a back-and-forth affair. Playmakers from both squads had chances early on, as the likes of Kamara, Ethan Fnlay, Diego Valeri, and Darlington Nagbe all created danger in the opening minutes.

Crew SC escaped a very early deficit when a sliding Wil Trapp tackle brought Nagbe down in the Columbus box. Nagbe looked stunned to not hear a whistle, but referee Silviu Petrescu waved play on.

In the 27th minute, Waylon Francis lofted a perfect cross for Kamara, who put an open header over the bar. Just a minute later, Portland capitalized.

With a piece of magic, Nagbe scooped a pass between Crew SC defenders, finding a streaking Adi, who powered a shot past a helpless Steve Clark for the match opener.

The league’s leading scorer had a bit of brilliance of his own, as Kamara pulled Columbus level just before the half with a perfectly placed header into the bottom corner from a corner kick.

The strike gave Kamara 22 goals in 2014, just five away from the league’s all-time mark and four away from the most in Crew SC history. It also raised the amount of MLS clubs he has scored against to 21, as he now has goals against each of the current active teams and the now-defunct Chivas USA.

After halftime, during which Columbus celebrated the unveiling of the top moments in club history with celebrity guests like Brian McBride and Brad Freidel, Portland wasted little time regaining the lead.

As fullback Harrison Afful streaked down, a Portland break isolated Michael Parkhurst on Rodney Wallace. The center back couldn’t keep up, and the winger slid a cross to Adi, who calmly placed the point-blank shot in the opposite corner in the 50th minute for the winner.

Crew SC looked to have equalized in the 64th minute through Ethan Finlay, but the goal was disallowed much to the frustration and anger of the hosts.

The much-needed three points for the Timbers (12-10-8) buoyed the club’s playoff chances, bringing them to 44 points on the season, four ahead of seventh-placed San Jose. They next host Sporting Kansas City on Oct. 3.

Crew SC (13-10-8), however, missed a chance to take command of the Eastern Conference and guarantee a playoff berth. Columbus visit the New York Red Bulls next Saturday. 

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