Philadelphia Union 1, Portland Timbers 3 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
New striker Brian Fernandez continues to make one heck of a first impression, putting up two goals and an assist to lead the Portland Timbers to a 3-1 road win over the Philadelphia Union Saturday night. The game was the last of the Timbers' MLS record 12 straight away contests.
Despite long spells of Philadelphia possession, Portland took control of the game partway through the first half. Making his first start after scoring a a game-tying goal in his 26-minute debut on May 15, Fernandez struck twice in a five-minute span. He headed heading in a back-post cross from Andy Polo in the 31st minute and finished off a highly entertaining counterattack in the 36th minute.
The Union hit the post twice and forced five saves from Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark, and they gamely stayed in contention by scoring just two minutes into the second half. Kasper Przybylko's awkward effort spun off the goal post and two-thirds of the way along the goal line before crossing.
Przybylko then hit the post in the 63rd minute after Clark had saved a Fafa Picault header. A miss by Jamiro Monteiro and a Clark save on Alejandro Bedoya kept the score 2-1 until Diego Valeri curled home a shot from outside the penalty area to seal the three points for Portland (4W-6L-2D) and condemn Philadelphia (7W-4L-3D) to a second home loss of the season.
- 31' – POR – Brian Fernandez | WATCH
- 36' – POR – Brian Fernandez | WATCH
- 47' – PHI – Kacper Przybylko | WATCH
- 87' – POR – Diego Valeri | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Portland survived their season-opening road slog with a more than respectable 4-6-2 record, equaling last season's total for road wins. They also appear to have hit, in a big way, on their Designated Player acquisition of Brian Fernandez, who now has three goals and one assist in less than 120 minutes of action. Philadelphia hope this will just be a speed bump and can restore normal service at home against Colorado on Wednesday.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The Timbers' 36th-minute counterattack was textbook stuff, even if it started with Union midfielder Alejandro Bedoya losing his footing. From there, Diego Chara, Diego Valeri and Brian Fernandez put on a clinical three-man weave that included Fernandez putting Philly center back Auston Trusty on skates with a slick dribble and, ultimately, Chara drawing in Andre Blake before feeding Fernandez to hit an empty net.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Fernandez. No need to go out on a limb here. The Argentine stepped to the spear of the Portland attack and showed his comfort interchanging with Jeremy Ebobisse and Diego Valeri. He also showed his comfort in front of goal.
- PHI: Wed., May 29 vs. Colorado Rapids (7:30 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US; DAZN in Canada)
- POR: Sat., June 1 vs. LAFC (10:30 pm ET | ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, ESPN app in US; TSN in Canada)