Portland Timbers felled by Orlando City at home


Despite an exhausting five plus hour flight from Florida to Oregon, Orlando City were full of energy for the most part as they took on Portland Timbers at Providence Park in MLS week 5. Both teams needed the points, but there was to be only one winner in this end to end game.

The game started in Orlando’s favour, and they controlled much of the game. Their attacking intent was clear and was rewarded with a goal after poor defending from Portland. In particular, Liam Ridgewell should have done more to clear the ball but his header went straight back to Orlando who capitalized with Cyle Larin getting his first Orlando City goal thanks to a pin-point cross from the header.

The first-half was a feisty one, towards the end of the half after the Orlando goal, both sets of players got into various spats with one another as fouls became commonplace and there were a number of bookings.

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Orlando who have struggled for goals this season, showed they could at least create chances. Kaka was pulling the strings as usual, with Brek Shea providing some darting runs on the wings. That said, some of the passes went astray or were picked off by Portland and there were some chances on the counter for the home-team. Nagbe in particular had a number of chances.

Seb Hines was one of Orlando’s best performers, the English defender made a number of key interceptions to keep Portland at bay. The Timbers continued to press as the second half-wore on, with some close calls as they began to dictate the tempo of the game. Ade was really close to scoring, only being charged down by a number of Orlando players as he tried to hit home the rebound.

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It was clear that the coast to coast travel was taking its toll on Orlando City as their pace and intensity dropped, and had to defend a lot under repeated attacks by the Portland Timbers. With 20 minutes to Donovan Ricketts was forced into making a one handed save, and in the ensuing chaos in the box Ramos was clattered to the floor heavily.

There was drama with ten minutes to go as Larin was taken out in the penalty box by the goalkeeper. It was a clear penalty, for which Kaka stepped up to take. Initially the penalty kick from Kaka was saved, but the referee ordered a retake. The Timbers crowd were not happy to say the least. So, the Brazilian magician stepped up again and this time did not miss, blasting it into the roof of the net for what was his third goal in MLS and the final goal in this game to wrap it all up for Orlando City.

Overall, it was an entertaining game as Orlando City showed some nice football, although the home side eventually grew into the game and had a number of chances in which to get the goal they needed to make it a tied game. It was a classic, end to end game although the end product was clearly missing. The penalty was a clear cut penalty if there ever was one, although Portland will be questioning the need for a retake.

Orlando City were simply the better of the two teams and this win was a deserved one for them, despite the times which they flagged and the Timbers took advantage. Some of the defending was great, dealing with everything they had thrown at them to ensure they picked up the three points to take back home to Orlando. Their second win in MLS, both now on the road, this performance should signal many more.

Meanwhile for Portland, it was another disappointing game. Their defending needs serious work, and they know that as well as anyone.

This win puts Orlando City third in the Eastern Conference. For Portland, it puts them second from bottom at least until LA Galaxy play later on in the Western Conference.

Final Score: PORTLAND TIMBERS 0-2  ORLANDO CITY (Larin 30′, Kaka 85′)