The Portland Timbers ended Sporting Kansas City's seven-game winning streak on Saturday with a 1-0 win before a sold-out crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field. The Timbers capitalized on an own goal by Sporting KC and held one of MLS's top-scoring clubs scoreless as they snapped their five-match winless stretch with the victory.
The sellout crowd marked the Timbers' 21st consecutive sellout for an MLS match at JELD-WEN Field.
Entering the match, Sporting KC had posted the second-longest winning streak to start a season in MLS history at seven consecutive wins. In a physical match, the Timbers' defense limited Sporting KC to just two shots on goal and held the club scoreless for the first time in 2012. Portland gained the lead four minutes from halftime, when Sporting KC defender Chance Meyers knocked the ball into the back of his own net trying to clear away a cross by Timbers forward Kris Boyd.
Goalkeeper Troy Perkins logged two saves and his 50th career MLS victory, Boyd recorded a team-high four shots and defender Hanyer Mosquera cleared away loose ball off the goal line in second-half stoppage time to help the Timbers (2-4-1, 7pts) end a four-game losing streak with their second win of the season.
Strike partners Kei Kamara and C.J. Sapong combined for eight shots and goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen recorded two saves as Sporting KC (7-1-0, 21pts) was handed its first loss of the season. Saturday's match was Sporting KC's third match over a stretch of eight days and capped a two-match road trip to the Northwest.
The Timbers took a 1-0 lead into halftime for a third consecutive match, benefitting from a Sporting KC own goal in the 41st minute. Boyd chased down a ball deep in the right corner and whipped in a cross to the back side of the box. On the back post, Sporting KC midfielder Julio Cesar and Meyers were there for the clearing effort. The ball hit off Meyer's head and landed in the back of his own net.
Sporting KC, who entering the match ranked second in MLS in goals, shots and shots on goal, took 10 of its 16 shots in the match during the second half, and Portland's backline stood to the task. During a late push by Sporting KC, Perkins made a save on a shot by forward Kei Kamara in the 80th minute and Timbers midfielder Lovel Palmer blocked a shot from the top of the box in the 88th minute.
But the key play for the Timbers' defense came in second-half stoppage time, when Mosquera cleared a dangerous, loose ball off the goal line. A long throw-in by Sporting KC defender Matt Besler made its way into the box and Perkins was there on the play. The ball slipped through Perkins' hands and headed towards goal. Mosquera blocked the ball on the goal line and Perkins pounced on deflection to end the threat. Sporting KC attempted seven shots in the final 12 minutes of the match.
Portland and Sporting KC combined for 28 fouls and six yellow cards.
The Timbers close out the month of April on the road as they visit the expansion Montreal Impact on Saturday, April 28, at Stade Olympique; kickoff is set for 11 a.m. (Pacific). The matchup against Montreal will be televised live on KPDX, the Portland Timbers Television Network and in Spanish on EstrellaTV. Radio broadcasts will be available on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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