Dike and midfielder Darlington Nagbe both scored for the Portland
Timbers, but the New York Red Bulls registered three unanswered goals,
including the game-winner from defender Heath Pearce in the 83rd minute,
to claim a 3-2 win at Red Bull Arena on
In an action-packed first half, the Timbers jumped out to a 2-0 lead by the 32nd minute, with Dike scoring eight minutes in and Nagbe finding the back of the net just past the half hour. The Red Bulls responded with a pair of goals inside the final five minutes of the half, with Kenny Cooper scoring in the 43rd minute and Tim Cahill tallying in the 45th minute, to knot the score at 2-2 at the break.
Key saves from both club's goalkeepers highlighted the second half until Pearce headed home a cross from Jan Gunnar Solli seven minutes from time to seal the 3-2 win, keeping New York unbeaten at home (9-0-3) in 2012.
Nagbe scored in his second consecutive match, midfielder Sal Zizzo logged two assists, Dike scored in his first MLS start, defender Kosuke Kimura matched a career high with his third assist and midfielder Franck Songo'o recorded his third assist for the Timbers (5-13-6, 21pts).
Pearce scored his second goal of the season, Cahill's first MLS goal was the equalizer, Cooper registered a goal and an assist and Solli recorded two assists to help the Red Bulls (13-7-5, 44pts) to victory and maintain their second-place position in the Eastern Conference.
Making his first MLS start, Dike lifted the Timbers to an early lead, scoring the club's quickest MLS road goal in the eight minute. Kimura sprung Zizzo on a break with a well-placed pass down the right touch line. Zizzo threaded a pass between Red Bulls defenders to Dike on the back past and Dike smashed a right-footed shot from inside the box past New York goalkeeper Bill Gaudette.
Portland staked a 2-0 lead in the 32nd minute, capitalizing on another fast-break play. In the attacking third, Songo'o worked the ball in to the center of the field from the left side. He passed the ball off to Zizzo, who one-timed a leading pass into the box for Nagbe. As Gaudette left his line, Nagbe tucked a rolling shot into the bottom left corner of the goal for his fifth goal of the season.
The Red Bulls evened the score at 2-2 before halftime, scoring two goals in quick succession. Solli picked out Cooper in the center of the box with a cross in from the right side, and Cooper headed home his 14th goal of the season in the 43rd minute. Two minutes later, Cahill struck for his first MLS goal when he put away a deflected Dax McCarty shot from the top of the box.
Pearce provided the late game heroics seven minutes from time. Off a corner kick, Cooper played the ball out wide on the right to Solli, who then sent a cross back into the box. Pearce, on the near post, was the first to the ball and snapped in the game-winning header.
Gaudette made three key saves in the second half, turning away one-on-one opportunities by Zizzo in the 63rd minute and midfielder Diego Chara in the 66th minute. Songo'o set up Nagbe for an open look at the top of the box in the 61st minute, but Gaudette was able to turn away Nagbe's low shot to the left post with a diving stop.
Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made two stops early in the second half to keep the score line even. In the 52nd minute, he turned away a glancing header by forward Thierry Henry at the near post and was then able to recover and deny the follow-up attempt by Sebastien Le Toux at the top of the goal box.
The Timbers return home to play host to Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a Cascadia Cup clash on Saturday, Aug. 25, at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The Portland-Vancouver matchup will be televised live on ROOT SPORTS, with radio broadcasts available on 750 AM The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940 AM.
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