Relegated to playing away from home for the first five games of the MLS season as their stadium was under expansion construction, the Portland Timbers made the most of their home opener Saturday night, beating Minnesota United 3-2.
Portland (1-3-2) endured its share of woes on the road, going winless in five starts, but a raucous home crowd welcomed the team home.
It didn’t take long for the Timbers to turn their season around, as they scored twice in a three-minute span in the first half to take control of the game.
The initial score came in the 20th minute when Alvas Powell made a brilliant run through the Minnesota defense.
Powell controlled the ball in the middle and darted through the Minnesota defense before short-siding it home past goalie Matt Lampson for the 1-0 lead.
A short time later, it was last season’s MLS MVP, Diego Valeri, making it 2-0.
Powell started the play, hitting a partially deflected cross that seemed to freeze the Minnesota defense, allowing Valeri to sneak past Francisco Calvo, first-timing it home in the 23rd minute.
Minnesota (2-4-0) got back in the game midway through the second half when Darwin Quintero scored in his first game for the Loons.
Quintero received a pass from Carter Manley, took on two Portland defenders and beat Portland goalie Jake Gleeson to make it 2-1.
Portland got the goal back 10 minutes later when Fanendo Adi misdirected a shot from Cristhian Paredas into the back of the Minnesota goal.
The Loons made it a one-goal game again, taking advantage of an own goal off the foot of Portland defender Bill Tuiloma in the 81st minute.
Minnesota had a goal denied in the first half. Miguel Ibarra’s apparent score was reviewed and waved off when replay showed that Ibarra was offside.
—Field Level Media