The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION
Portland Timbers defeat DC United 3-2 for first win of the season
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers scored in the opening minute and the last minute to earn their first victory of the season.
Maximiliano Urruti got the deciding goal in stoppage time and the Timbers defeated D.C. United 3-2 on Saturday night.
"This is the kind of win that really catapults a team," Portland coach Caleb Porter said.
Futty Danso also scored for the Timbers, who were winless for their first eight matches of the season for the team's longest span without a victory since 2012. The streak was concerning for a team that went all the way to the Western Conference final last season.
But Urruti came off the bench to snap it with a rebound from just inside the box as United goalkeeper Bill Hamid tumbled to the rain-soaked turf. There was four minutes of stoppage time at the end of the game.
Urruti said the game-winner came off his knee.
"It's three points, but sometimes it feels like more, and I think this is one that feels like more," Porter said. "I think they'll play freer, more confident. I think we'll continue to get better and better. We've been playing well, but I think sometimes when you feel that weight of that pressure because you're not getting the results, you get frustrated. This will definitely unlock us."
Portland was still buzzing about Damian Lillard's buzzer-beating 3-pointer against the Houston Rockets on Friday night that sent the Trail Blazers into the second-round of the NBA playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
"Maybe a little Blazer magic rubbed off on us," Porter said.
The loss snapped a five-match undefeated string for United, which pulled into a 2-all tie with an own goal in the 78th minute.
Portland struck first in the opening minute, when Gaston Fernandez manoeuvred around Hamid and found the net just 34 seconds into the game. It was the fastest goal for the team since Portland joined Major League Soccer.
Fernandez, who came to the Timbers earlier this year, leads the team with four goals.
Davy Arnaud scored the equalizer for United in the 21st minute. His shot from far out appeared to deflect off a Portland player for an arching curl that was impossible for goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to stop.
Danso put the Timbers back in front with a goal off a corner kick in the 38th minute. It was the defender's first goal for Portland since 2011.
The own goal that tied it appeared to come off Danso after a header by United defender Cristian in a tangle in front of the net as the field was pounded by rain.
"I thought in the second half, we realized we're good soccer players," United coach Ben Olsen said. "We were confident in the way we passed the ball. I thought we were physical, I thought some of their key players were nullified. And, again, it's just very disappointing to come out of here with nothing. Credit them to keep on pushing."
Hamid played with his head wrapped after sustaining a nasty cut to the forehead late in the first half.
The Timbers were coming off a 1-all draw last weekend against the Houston Dynamo, while United defeated FC Dallas in its last outing.
"I think it's going to be a big lift for us," said Portland defender Michael Harrington, who watched Lillard drain his winning 3 in person. "A little unconventional the way it happened, but we'll take it."
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