April 8, 2018 / 10:45 PM / 2 months ago

Dwyer lifts Orlando City SC over Portland

Dom Dwyer scored in the 88th minute to cap a dramatic second-half comeback by Orlando City SC, which rallied to defeat the defending Western Conference champion Portland Timbers, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Orlando City Stadium in Orlando, Fla.

Sacha Kljestan and Chris Mueller also scored goals, and Joe Bendik had four saves for Orlando City (2-2-1), which has won consecutive games for the first time since April of last year.

Dwyer’s game-winner, which came on a shot from the right corner of the box, capped a three-goal comeback over an eight-minute span for Orlando City. It was the third goal in two games for Dwyer.

Reigning MLS Player of the Year Diego Valeri had a goal and an assist, and Bill Poni Tuiloma scored his first-ever MLS goal for Portland. Goalie Jake Gleeson had four saves for the winless Timbers (0-3-2), who finished a season-opening five-game road trip with just two points.

Portland took a 1-0 lead in the 20th minute on a penalty kick by Valeri — but not before a few anxious minutes.

Referee Baldomero Toledo originally gave Portland midfielder Sebastian Blanco his second yellow of the game for simulation. Blanco crashed to the ground after a side tackle by Mohamed El-Munir while driving toward to the goal on the right side of the box. But after using the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) for a replay, which showed that El-Munir had actually made contact and tripped Blanco, the officials overturned the red card. Portland, instead of looking at playing with just 10 men the rest of the way, was awarded the penalty kick while El-Munir received a yellow card.

Valeri then smashed the penalty kick past a diving Bendik into the left corner of the net for his second goal of the season.

The Timbers had a chance to take control early in the second half, but Blanco’s shot from the left side of the box in the 48th minute banged off the crossbar and Valeri’s attempt from the right side of the box a minute later bounced off the left goal post.

Tuiloma, a 23-year-old defensive midfielder from Otahuhu, New Zealand, made it 2-0 when he headed in a free kick by Valeri from the right side of the box in the 59th minute.

Orlando City rallied to tie it with two goals in a span of two minutes. Mueller scored the first with a header off a corner kick by Yoshimar Yotun in the 80th minute. Kljestan followed with a penalty kick two minutes later to tie it, 2-2, after Timbers defender Alvas Powell was called for a foul on Dwyer in front of the goal. Dwyer then scored the game-winner six minutes later off an assist from RJ Allen.

—Field Level Media

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