Portland Timbers 0, Sporting Kansas City 1 | 2017 MLS Match Recap
Immovable Object 1, Irresistible Force 0.
Sporting Kansas City shut down the league's highest-scoring team and recorded their fourth shutout in six matches, beating the Western Conference-leading Portland Timbers 1-0 on Saturday night on Dom Dwyer's 53rd-minute goal.
With the victory, Sporting continued their unbeaten start to the season with a 3-0-3 mark and gave manager Peter Vermes a win in his 300th match across all competitions.
Kansas City's high press kept the Timbers' dangerous offense, which came into the match with 16 goals on the year, largely bottled up and out of sync through a scoreless first half. Then the visitors struck on a bang-bang finish eight minutes into the second.
Benny Feilhaber, back in his playmaker's role after missing two matches with a hamstring strain, sent the ball to Jimmy Medranda in the top left of the penalty area. Medranda sent in a low, hard cross, and Dwyer met the ball for a close-range header.
- 53' - SKC - Dom Dwyer (WATCH)
- ANOTHER SHUTOUT FOR MELIA: Sporting Kansas City's Tim Melia has been in goal for all four of his team's clean sheets this season, and saw his league-best goals-against average drop to .33 after Saturday's match – but it wasn't easy, especially in the last quarter-hour. The Timbers had scored an MLS-best five goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, and they tested Melia several times late in Saturday's match. Melia met every challenge – and did so spectacularly in the 79th minute, when he stretched to full length and just got his fingertips on Darlington Nagbe's dipping blast from distance, tipping the ball off the crossbar.
- SHATTERED STREAKS: Portland's loss was the Timbers' first at home in any competition since they fell 2-1 to the LA Galaxy on July 23, 2016; over that span, they had gone 7-0-1 in MLS action and 7-0-2 across all competitions at Providence Park before falling on Saturday night. Sporting, meanwhile, had not won (0-2-3) in regular-season and postseason competition away from home since a 2-1 victory over San Jose last Sept. 24, being shut out four times over that span.
- WHISTLES BUT NO CARDS: The Timbers were called for 22 fouls on Saturday night, 10 more than Sporting. But while the visitors saw yellow twice, Portland received no cautions on the night from referee Drew Fischer. The worst offender, midfielder Diego Chara, escaped caution despite committing five fouls.