The Portland Timbers
received a goal from defender Eric Brunner and took advantage of an own goal to
defeat the Chicago Fire 2-1 before a sellout crowd of 20,438 at JELD-WEN Field
on Sunday afternoon.
The sold-out crowd marked the Timbers' 23rd consecutive sellout for a league match at JELD-WEN Field.
Playing their second game in six days, the Timbers jumped out to a 1-0 lead on Brunner's first goal of the season in the 20th minute, knocking in a half volley from five yard out. Chicago was able to level the score before halftime, as defender Jalil Anibaba got forward in the attack and contributed the equalizer. The decisive goal came in the 52nd minute, an own goal scored by Chicago midfielder Logan Pause as the result of a dangerous flick by Portland striker Kris Boyd in on the near post. With the victory, Portland is unbeaten in its last three matches.
Brunner scored his sixth career goal, Boyd and defender Hanyer Mosquera each recorded their first MLS assists and goalkeeper Troy Perkins made three saves as the Timbers (3-5-3, 12pts) handed Chicago a second straight loss at JELD-WEN Field.
Anibaba tallied his first goal of the season, midfielder Marco Pappa logged his second assist and took a team-high five shots and midfielder Pavel Pardo attempted three shots for the Fire (4-3-3, 15pts). The loss ended a three-match unbeaten run by Chicago.
Brunner unlocked the scoring in the 20th minute, scoring the match's opening goal on 20 minutes. A corner kick from the left side was headed back across the goal by Mosquera on the back post. Boyd, at the top of the six-yard box with his back to goal, redirected the ball towards the target and Brunner slammed a half volley into the back of the net from a few yards out. The tally by Brunner was the Timbers' first scored goal in four games, ending the club's longest stretch as an MLS club without a goal at 341 minutes.
Chicago responded in the 39th minute, knotting the score at 1-1. From the right side, Pappa played a sharp pass in to Anibaba at the top corner of the area. With space, Anibaba turned and fired a low shot past Perkins into the bottom far corner. Anibaba's goal ended a string of back-to-back shutouts by Portland and was the first goal scored against Perkins in 377 minutes of play.
The Timbers regained the lead in the 52nd minute, on the own goal by Pause. On a Portland corner kick from the left side, Boyd ran hard towards the near post and flicked the ball in on goal. The ball deflected off Pause's knee at the near post while the midfielder was attempting to make a play and it landed in the back of his own net, giving the Timbers a 2-1 lead.
Portland's defense held Chicago without a shot on goal in the second half and held the visiting side to just three shots overall over the final 45 minutes. The Timbers escaped a close chance by the Fire in the 62nd minute, when a clearance off a Chicago corner kick was deflected in the box and the ball landed at the feet of an unmarked Gonzalo Segares; his shot was blocked and rolled out of play.
The Timbers continue a busy stretch Wednesday, when they play host to Spanish La Liga side Valencia CF in an international exhibition at JELD-WEN Field at 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). A live radio broadcast will air on 750 AM The Game, with live video webcasts in English and Spanish available at www.portlandtimbers.com.
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