Portland 2 -3 NY Red Bulls
Not only did the Timbers, who find themselves with just 21 points this season and in last place in the Western Conference, have to play on the road yet again, but they would have to face a New York team that had put up stellar numbers throughout the year en route to being placed in 2nd in the Eastern Conference.
Clearly the task at hand was going to be difficult for the Timbers.
And, despite everything against them, Portland looked as though they were going to end the New York’s home undefeated streak for a better part of the first half of the game.
Bright Dike, making his first appearance for the Timbers, started his career with a bang as he scored the fastest goal in Portland history by striking a ball to the back of a net off an assist from Sal Zizzo. The goal was recorded in just the eighth minute and gave Portland the confidence to put together an impressive performance on the road.
A stout defensive effort continued to generate opportunities for the Timbers throughout the first half. With blazing speed Portland kept pressing the counter-attack and rattled home their second goal of the first half on an effort by Darlington Nagbe.
Despite this two goal lead in just the 32nd minute, Portland was unable to hold their lines as New York came thundering back and scored two goals in the first half, evening the score before moving into the second half of play.
In the second half, Portland’s impressive first-half efforts coupled with numerous opportunities in the second half would all be for naught as the Red Bulls pushed home what would turn out to be the game winning goal in the 83rd minute.
The goal gave New York a 3-2 advantage and kept their home undefeated alive while providing Portland with yet another loss on the road that saw their winless road streak continue.
Here are the love ’em and hate ’em from Portland’s match against the NY Red Bulls.
Offense Reaches a Turning Point
As mentioned above, the Timbers were able to rattle home two goals in just 32 minutes. These two goals continued Portland’s recent success in generating offensive attacks, thus signaling a hopeful change from their previous matches this season that saw them struggle to put together any quality attacks.
The Timbers have been using their speed to generate offensive counter-attacks that have really fueled a momentum change for a team that has struggled to do much this year.
Putting Together Better Games
For awhile it looked as though the Timbers were going to be one of the worst teams in the MLS this year. Though the Timbers may still be in last place in the MLS Western Conference, they have not been playing like they are one of the worst teams in their past few games.
In fact, Portland has looked relatively impressive in their last few outings, especially when it comes to the first half of play. The Timbers have put together quality minutes on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball and look to be playing a much more confident game of soccer.
Winless Streak on the Road Continues
Portland has still not won a game on the road this year. This fact has been well-documented this year and is still tough to get by. Even though the Timbers burst out to a two goal lead, the curse of the road continued for them as New York came back to send the Timbers home without a win yet again.
This One Hurt
Anytime you jump out to a two goal lead with plenty of game to play and end up surrendering three goals to lose the game, you will not feel good about your teams’ efforts.
Despite great play by the entire team, Portland still could not find a way to equalize/win the game. This is one of those that you look back on and just say, “What else could we have done?!?”