Portland Timbers 3, Minnesota United FC 2 | 2018 MLS Match Recap
After struggling in the early phase of the 2018 season — winless in five straight road matches — the Portland Timbers wanted to return to their Providence Park fortress in the worst way. And home eventually proved sweet as the Timbers won their first match of the season in wild fashion, 3-2, over Minnesota United FC in their 2018 home opener.
Portland opened the scoring midway through the first half with a pair of goals. First, Alvas Powell made a run and fired in a near-post rocket in the 21st minute. Then, inside of two minutes after that, while Timber Joey was still sawing a slab in Powell's honor, Diego Valeri chipped in Powell's cross to double the lead. It looked like Miguel Ibarra closed the lead to 2-1 just moments after Valeri scored, but it was overturned via video review, as Ibarra was judged to be offside.
The second half brought what Minnesota fans were waiting for: The first goal for newly-acquired playmaker Darwin Quintero, who created his own chance in the 64th minute after coming close on several attempted connections with his new teammates.
It did look like the Timbers put the match away with a Fanendo Adi goal in the 74th minute, in which he got a finishing header to a Christian Paredes volley to make it 3-1, followed by a Valeri-assisted second Adi goal in the 78th minute. But the brace was not to be; that goal was overturned on video review. Then, less than three minutes later, because the match wasn't already wild enough, Bill Poli Tuiloma misplayed a Quintero pass — a potential assist to a streaking-toward-goal Abu Danladi — into his own net to bring the Loons one goal closer to equalizing. In the end, though, the Timbers held on for the welcome one-goal win.
- 21' – POR – Alvas Powell Watch
- 23' – POR – Diego Valeri Watch
- 64' – MIN – Darwin Quintero Watch
- 74' – POR – Fanendo Adi Watch
- 81' – MIN – Bill Poni Tuiloma (OG) Watch
- THE BIG PICTURE: What a difference a win makes for Portland — and the developing log jam in the West. While having five points from six games doesn't seem like much, they're now even with San Jose and Houston, just a point behind Minnesota, and just three points behind the 6th-in-the-West Rapids.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Quintero's goal turned Portland's seeming cakewalk into a firewalk — and while the Timbers never lost their lead, they were in very real danger for most of the second half of having to settle for yet another draw.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Powell, with his early goal and assist getting the Timbers out to an early 2-0 lead, also amped up the raucous home crowd they've so sorely missed.