PORTLAND, Ore. – Nat Borchers, Maximiliano Urruti and Diego Chara opened their 2015 accounts to lead the Portland Timbers to their first win of the season, 3-1 over FC Dallas on Saturday night at Providence Park.
To complete the night of firsts, it was the opening loss of the season for FCD, who entered the game leading the Western Conference and now sit in second with 10 points from five games, despite an early equalizing goal from Tesho Akindele.
Urruti’s 62nd-minute strike broke a 1-1 deadlock after Borchers and Akindele traded first-half corner-kick goals, giving Portland six points from their first five games.
Without injured playmaker Mauro Diaz and forward Blas Perez a second-half substitute, Portland controlled much of the game. But the teams’ first-half goals came thanks to some rather forgettable defending on both ends.
First, Borchers stood unmarked on the back post on a Jorge Villafana corner kick in the 23rd minute, allowing the Timbers’ big center back to square up an easy header goal.
Neither team had many other chances in the first half.
In the 25th minute, Portland forward Fanendo Adi fired a shot that was cleaned up by Urruti for an apparent goal, but it was waived off for offside.
Akindele nearly got his first of the night in the 26th minute when he was played in for an open shot at the top of the box, but his left-footed blast sailed high.
The Timbers’ game winner came thanks to the playmaking ability of Darlington Nagbe. He made a long run to the edge of the FCD box, and played to Dairon Asprilla on the right corner. Asprilla sent a sizzling cross into the area that was redirected into the goal by Urruti.
Dallas nearly snagged another equalizer in the 86th minute on a bouncing header from Zach Loyd in the middle of the box, but Timbers goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey was just able to nudge it over with a leaping save.
And then just seconds later following a corner-kick clearance, Chara broke free for a one-on-one with FCD ‘keeper Chris Seitz and calmly slotted inside the far post to put the game away.
FC Dallas return home to play host to the Colorado Rapids on Friday night, while Portland welcome expansion side Orlando City SC to the Rose City for a nationally televised Sunday affair.