Entering Sunday’s nationally televised showcase between the defending MLS Cup Champion Portland Timbers and MLS hotshots New York City FC, the two teams were going in different
Straight from the gate it was the home side who were the more aggressive and
A pass to die for
While it was Portland who were the more aggressive team it was New York City which found the net first. As US international Darlington Nagbe was near the halfway line, the ball bounced off New York defender RJ Allen. The debate will remain as to whether or not a handball should have been called, with his arms in a natural state and the speed at which the
Portland came out in the second half the same way it ended the first: with their foot on the gas and the pressure high. Their hard work and good play finally came to fruition as Fernando Adi powered his way though the backline and fired a shot that deflected off a defender and into the back of the net to level things up.
A few touches make all the difference
As Portland looked like the team more likely to break the dead lock, 10 minutes after their equalizer a through ball was played for Lucas Melano. His first touch let him down though and took away his strongest asset: his speed. A minute later after a fabulous tackle from NYCFC, the baby blues got the ball on the other end of the pitch. A long cross found Andrea Pirlo near the 18, and a simple outside of the foot pass to Thomas McNamara was all the player needed to score an absolutely tasty goal that curved and looped into the upper corner of the far net and gave New York a 2-1 lead.
Unfortunately for the Timbers, they lacked the little bit off class that New York when searching for another equalizer. While they were still able to produce chances, they were
The win now puts the second year team tied with Montreal for first place in the Eastern Conference. However, they're given little time to reflect on their
After losing 2-1 three times within a matter of nine days, Portland will now have a week to gear up for a Cascadia clash with the Vancounver Whitecaps to try and get their season back on track.