The Portland Timbers conceded a goal in the first minute and could not overcome the early deficit in a 1-0 loss on the road against the New England Revolution in front of 12,925 fans at Gillette Stadium on Saturday.
For the third straight game, the Timbers (1-1-1, 4pts) conceded the opening goal of the match, but could not earn a result despite holding the edge on shots (13-9) over the Revolution (1-2-0, 3pts).
New England forward Saer Sene opened his MLS account with his first goal of the season. Sene headed a well-placed cross from defender Chris Tierney off the underside of the crossbar just 28 seconds into the match. The goal was the eighth-fastest in MLS history and fastest since August, 2009.
Forwards Kris Boyd and Darlington Nagbe combined for six shots, goalkeeper Troy Perkins made four saves and midfielder Franck Songo'o put two shots on goal in his debut, but the Timbers struggled to convert their chances and lost for the first time in the 2012 MLS season.
Goalkeeper Matt Reis made three saves, Tierney and midfielder Lee Nguyen combined for four shots and captain Shalrie Joseph moved into first place on the all-time minutes played list for the Revolution, passing head coach Jay Heaps.
The Timbers were forced to make an early substitution after defender Hanyer Mosquera sustained an injury in the 24th minute while making an aerial challenge on the ball. Mosquera was taken to an area hospital for further evaluation of facial injuries Saturday evening. Rookie Andrew Jean-Baptiste entered the match for Mosquera.
Songo'o, who made his Timbers debut as a 60th-minute substitution for midfielder Eric Alexander, had two of the better opportunities of the second half as the Timbers searched for the equalizing goal. Following a clearance off a corner kick in the 85th minute, Songo'o controlled the ball in the center of the field, dribbled through two defenders and hit a strong shot from the top of the penalty box that Reis punched away with both hands.
A right-footed effort from Songo'o just outside the box in the 69th minute was also saved by Reis.
The Timbers return home Saturday, March 31, against Real Salt Lake at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. (Pacific). The matchup against Real Salt Lake will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS, with radio broadcasts on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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