Portland Timbers 0, Orlando City SC 2 | MLS Match Recap
PORTLAND, Ore. – Orlando City SC made their first trip to the Rose City count, backing up Cyle Larin’s first half goal with a late Kaká penalty kick to beat the Portland Timbers 2-0 at Providence Park on Sunday.
The No. 1 overall pick in January’s SuperDraft, Larin’s first career MLS goal ended Orlando City’s three-game winless streak – which included two losses – and pushed them to eight points through six games.
Portland, meanwhile, failed to build on the momentum of their first win of the season last weekend and remain on six points from six matches.
Both teams had their fair of chances in early action.
In the 19th minute, Portland’s best chance of the first half came on a blistering counterattack run down the right wing by Darlington Nagbe. His right-footed blast from the corner of the area required a diving stop by Orlando goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who was making his return to the Rose City after playing the last two seasons with the Timbers.
Orlando got out on a dangerous counter of their own down the right in the 23rd minute, putting Larin one-on-one with Portland ‘keeper Adam Kwarasey. But Larin’s attempt to the far post rolled just wide.
Orlando took advantage of space on the right again in the 30th minute when Portland failed to clear an over-the-top through ball by Kaká. It fell to Molino for an open cross to Larin, who chested home at the near post to give the Lions the 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Portland turned the screws on their possession game – dominating the action in search of the equalizer. They had a number of chances, but just two shots on target for their efforts.
In the 55th minute, Nagbe got free down the middle and fired a shot from just beyond the box that sailed a notch high.
Two chances in the box for Adi and strike partner Maximiliano Urruti in the 65th minute went begging for more and were both cleared away by the Orlando defense. Three minutes later, Adi got his head to a nicely placed cross by Alvas Powell but again was unable to put the attempt on frame.
When Ricketts was called into action, he responded brilliantly, turning away a well-struck right-footed shot in the 72nd minute by second half substitute Dairon Asprilla from the right wing with another diving save.
Orlando City tacked on their second goal in the 85th minute. Kwarasey was called for a foul in the box on substitute forward Carlos Rivas, giving OCSC a penalty kick. Kaká’s initial attempt from the spot was saved, but Portland’s Diego Chara was whistled for encroachment, giving the Brazilian Designated Player another attempt. He made no mistake on the follow-up, burying the PK high and down the middle.
Powell nearly pulled one back in the 90th minute, making a dangerous run into the box. But his shot too was shepherded away by Ricketts.
Portland hit the road for their next match, Sunday at New York City FC. Orlando stay on the road and face Columbus Crew SC on Saturday.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com