PORTLAND, OR – A club record seven straight games undefeated for New York City FC was ended in Oregon on Sunday as the Portland Timbers handed the Blues their first lost of the 2018 campaign.
The changes made from last week are Ronald Matarrita on for Ben Sweat, Ebenezer Ofori on for Yangel Herrera, and a front three of Jo Inge Berget, Rodney Wallace, and David Villa, who was chasing his 400th career goal for club and country.
The first five minutes open with dangerous chances from the home side’s Sebastian Blanco. The next ten and half minutes showed better defending from the team playing in white instead of blue, but slowly creating attacking chances. The run of play looked to have been with the Timbers. At the 26th minute, Portland confirmed that when Blanco headed in a looping ball over the heads of both Sean Johnson and Alexander Callens to give Portland the 1-0 lead.
Fanendo Adi made it 2-0 in the 38th minute. David Villa attempted to pull one back in the 40th minuted, only to be denied by Jeff Attinella. The following corner ended fruitless. Half time score: 2-0.
Patrick Vieira was upset after the first half. Talking to the sideline reporter, he said that the team needed to wake up or else a comeback would have been unlikely. In the 48th minute, it seemed like City did wake up. Berget headed a ball to Wallace, whose shot was off the post and out for a goal kick, if he was onside, that is. The 58th minute produced a better chance from a turnover in the midfield. Villa played the ball across to Berget, but again, no end product, as Attinella came out to collect. And at the hour half, Maxi Moralez found Anton Tinnerholm on the right who crossed it too close to the Timbers ‘keeper.
In the 61st minute, Wallace came off to a round of applause from his former fans. Jesus Medina came on to substitute Wallace. Alexander Ring picked up a yellow card in the 63rd minute after the ref called advantage for a foul.
Things were looking better for City in the second half until the 66th minute. Larrys Mabiala headed in Portland’s 3rd from a corner. The goal was under video review because of a potential offside screening of Sean Johnson, just like last weekend, but the goal was cleared to stand. Tommy McNamara came on for Matarrita in the 70th minute, and Herrera came on for Ofori in the 79th minute.
A late penalty shout in the 90th minute was checked by the VAR after Diego Chara challenged Villa and called as not a “clear and obvious error”. In stoppage time, Callens picked up a yellow card for a handball. Full time score: 3-0.
The first half was very lackluster from NYCFC. There was no urgency nor inspiration. The second half looked better to start, but then the third goal was conceded. It seems like a write-off, but there is too much to be concerned with after this match for it to be called one. This was more of a no-show. It was very disappointing.
1. Portland takes the first home win between the two clubs, and now leads the head-to-head record with 3W-1L.
2. City conceded only four goals in the first six games. In the previous two games, the club conceded five.
3. This was the first game of the 2018 campaign without a goal scored.
4. City holds a 0W-0D-2L record with the Parley jerseys.
5. Last year when I wrote the post-match, it was against Portland (spot the reference in the article title). City lost that match as well. (Guys, don’t let me write when we play Portland!)
City returns to the Bronx to face the only undefeated club remaining in the league, FC Dallas, who is also the only team in the league that has not lost to NYCFC (not counting LAFC). The match will be on Sunday, April 29th at 6:30pm.