Portland Timbers 3, Chicago Fire 2 | 2019 MLS Match Recap

Brian Fernandez scored two more goals, Jorge Moreira added another and the Portland Timbers bagged a 3-2 victory over the 10-man Chicago Fire at Providence Park on Wednesday.

Nemanja Nikolic and CJ Sapong netted for Chicago in the second half, but Fernandez's 88th-minute tally would ultimately hold as the match-winner.

The Timbers jumped out to the first-half lead in the 11th minute after Chicago goalkeeper David Ousted came off his line and deflected a shot from Loria right into the path of Moreira, allowing the fullback to chip the ball into the open net from distance and put the hosts up 1-0. Fernandez then found his ninth goal of the season just 10 minutes later after he stepped in front of a bullet cross from Cristhian Paredes and saw the ensuing deflection trickle into the net, doubling Portland's advantage.

Chicago were dealt a crucial blow on the half-hour mark after Aleksandar Katai was sent off by referee Silviu Petrescu for a high elbow to Julio Cascante that was deemed violent conduct, forcing the Fire to play a man down for the rest of the match.

The visitors would claw back, however, as Nikolic found their first goal of the match with a lofted header in the 74th minute that deflected into the net to pull the Fire within 2-1 and give a glimmer of hope they could claim a point from the contest. But Fernandez's 88th-minute breakaway finish would negate Sapong's goal in second-half stoppage time that pulled the scoreline to 3-2, allowing the Timbers to take all three points.

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  • 11' - POR - Jorge Moreira | WATCH
  • 21' - POR - Brian Fernandez | WATCH
  • 74' - CHI - Nemanja Nikolic | WATCH
  • 88' - POR - Brian Fernandez | WATCH
  • 90' - CHI - CJ Sapong | WATCH

Three Things 

  • THE BIG PICTURE: It was nervier than they may have liked, but in the end it's another win for the Timbers, who continued their torrid run of form since Fernandez's May 15 debut. Portland are now 8-3-3 since slotting the dynamic forward into the lineup, and with a schedule absolutely loaded with home games in the second half of the season, the Timbers should feel good about continuing their ascent up the Western Conference table. The Fire showed some moxie in clawing back within one goal twice while down a man, but they still saw the brief two-match winning streak they were working on come to an end and remain below the playoff line in the Eastern Conference.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Despite the red card, there was still a point there for the taking for the Fire until Fernandez's late dagger, and it became even more significant when Sapong netted in stoppage time.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Fernandez has been the man of the season for the Timbers, so he has to get the nod after another standout two-goal performance.

Next Up

  • POR: Sunday, August 18 vs. Atlanta United (10 pm ET | FS1 in US, TSN2 in Canada) 
  • CHI: Saturday, August 17 vs. Philadelphia Union (8 pm ET | (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada)
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