Timbers extend streak with win over NYCFC

VIDEO Pirlo mistake gifts record-tying goal to Diego Valeri
VIDEO Pirlo mistake gifts record-tying goal to Diego Valeri
Author

10 September, 2017

The play started with Darren Mattocks' takeaway from midfielder Andrea Pirlo deep in the NYCFC backfield.

The Portland Timbers playmaker scored in his seventh straight MLS match, pulling him level with Raul Diaz Arce (D.C., 1997), Wolde Harris (New England, 2000), and Carlos Ruiz (Dallas, 2006) as the players with the longest scoring streaks in league history.

Pirlo was the first player substituted for NYCFC who saw their unbeaten streak snapped at five games and their home unbeaten streak snapped at 10. "So, I like the balance of the team and I like the mentality".

The New England Revolution chalked up a 1-0 win over Montreal Impact with a Lee Nguyen goal, and the Colorado Rapids beat Houston Dynamo by the same score after Dominique Badji netted a 93rd-minute victor.

Sean Johnson made seven saves for NYCFC.

This was Portland's first game since it tied Seattle 1-1 on August 27.

In the second half, the goalkeepers were the stars. A second half shot from distance that Jeff Attinella saved with relative ease.

In the 55th minute he reacted to a Vytas header off a corner kick to punch it over the crossbar.

In the 81st minute, Johnson made two stops on shots frolm outside the box by Valeri and Nagbe. Most noteworthy was Johnson's diving save on Valeri in the 84th minute. Wallace's return also marks the first time he will play against the Timbers, his former team. Portland is just one point back from the Sounders. The manager still sees a player who he believes can help NYCFC as it tries to make a run at an MLS Cup title, and based on Portland's approach Saturday, opponents also still believe he is a player who can make a difference. "We created chances too".

New York City FC played without David Villa.

All of the sudden, this Timbers team - still minus key starters in the shape of Fanendo Adi and Liam Ridgewell - is putting it all together.

From where he stripped Pirlo, Mattocks' job was simple.

City left themselves exposed to the counterattack for much of the second half and through clever pressing and movements from the Timbers, almost paid for it. Johnson made seven saves in the game, six of them came in the second half. But so far, through trips to two of the hardest, the Timbers are sailing - and they might just sail right into November. Play Pirlo for either Herrera or Ring and you wind up with a midfield that can be outworked, and given how good both Ring and Herrera have looked, Vieira will be in a rush to get them back in the lineup next week. Diego Chara will be suspended for that match for yellow-card accumulation.


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