Blanco makes PK when Rapids keeper debuts, Timbers win 3-0
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Sebastián Blanco converted a tiebreaking penalty kick in first-half stoppage time just after 19-year-old goalkeeper Abraham Rodriguez made his Major League Soccer debut in place of injured William Yarbrough, and the Portland Timbers beat the Colorado Rapids 3-0 on Saturday night.
Yarbrough, a 33-year-old who has made three international appearances for the U.S., sustained a concussion in a collision with Santiago Moreno at the top of the penalty area in the first minute of stoppage time.
Referee Rosendo Mendoza awarded the penalty kick, and after a lengthy delay, Rodriguez entered in the eighth minute of stoppage time. The goalkeeper dived left while Blanco put the penalty kick the other way for his third goal of the MLS season.
“I was a little nervous, but ready for that situation,” said Rodriguez, signed by the Rapids in 2020 as a homegrown player from Thornton, Colorado.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored a pair of second-half goals for Portland (4-6-7), which ended a six-game regular-season winless steak against Colorado.
Niezgoda, who has five goals this season, scored off passes from Bill Tuiloma in the 54th minute and Eryk Williamson in the 62nd.
Colorado (5-7-4) and Portland both took 19 shots, but the Timbers had a 7-5 edge in shots on goal.
Aljaz Ivacic had four saves for Portland.
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