Portland plays host to Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 23
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers conceded a goal in each half, falling 2-0 to Atlanta United FC in front of 25,218 fans at Providence Park on Sunday night. Continuing its stretch of 10 consecutive home games, Portland will square off against Cascadia-rival Seattle Sounders FC on Friday at Providence Park.
The 2-0 loss against Atlanta marked Portland’s first home loss since June 1, snapping an eight-game home unbeaten streak in all competitions. It was also the first time since Sept. 29, 2018, that the Timbers (11-10-4, 37pts) did not tally a goal in regular-season play at Providence Park. In MLS play, Portland is 6-2-2 in its last 10 games.
Atlanta took a 1-0 lead in the 14th minute off a corner kick. Gonzalo Martínez sent a driven ball to the left post that was directed on frame by Josef Martínez, forcing a save by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark, but the ball bounced back into the box for Leandro González Pirez, who converted near the goal line.
Pushing for a goal, Diego Valeri found a pocket of space just outside the box, receiving a quick pass from Jeremy Ebobisse. Valeri unleashed a powerful long-range strike headed for the bottom left corner of the goal that was pushed wide by Atlanta goalkeeper Brad Guzan in the 27th minute.
Clark came up with a save in the 31st minute. Josef Martínez dribbled down the right side of the box and laid a pass off for Julian Gressel near the right post. Gressel fired a shot from close range, but Clark was there to deny the attempt at the right post.
In the 42nd minute, Jorge Villafaña dribbled down the left side of the field to the end line and played a cross to the edge of the six-yard box for Ebobisse, who connected with a header, but Guzan was able to make the save.
Bill Tuiloma made a critical defensive play in the 45th minute. Gonzalo Martínez dribbled into the box on a breakaway and Tuiloma made a sliding tackle just inside the box. Just one minute later, Ezequiel Barco received a pass on the counter-attack running down the left side of the field. Barco cut back toward the center of the box, releasing a shot from close range, but Clark came off his line to make the block.
Atlanta increased its lead to 2-0 in the 46th minute. Gressel played a well-weighted pass from near midfield into space for Josef Martínez, who deposited a curling strike from just inside the box into the top right corner of the goal.
Searching for a goal, Sebastián Blanco delivered a powerful strike from distance in the 58th minute, forcing Guzan to tip his shot over the crossbar.
Off a quick corner kick, Diego Chara played a short ball to Valeri, who served a cross to the center of the box in the 64th minute. Julio Cascante jumped and sent a strong header toward goal, but Guzan parried the shot away at point-blank range on the goal line.
Deep in second-half stoppage time, Jorge Moreira played a cross from the right corner to the center of the box for Valeri, who hit a half volley from near the penalty spot on target that was blocked.
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