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Zusi's brace helps Sporting topple Timbers

After its franchise-record 14-game unbeaten 1 win over the Portland Timbers at Livestrong Sporting Park on Wednesday.

Graham Zusi tallied a pair of first-half goals to send Sporting on its way, while Soony Saad came off the bench to score his first MLS goal in the 73rd minute for the home side.

Portland pulled a goal back through Bright Dike in the 82nd minute, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Timbers from their second successive defeat.

Only the crossbar kept out a deflected long-range shot from Milos Stojcev for Sporting in the 19th minute, while Zusi had better luck from 30 yards a few minutes later.

He collected a loose ball and took one touch before smashing a rocket into the upper-left corner of the net, leaving no chance for Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

It was a brilliant strike from Zusi, and he was on the scoresheet again five minutes before the break, only this time from a much closer distance.

Teal Bunbury's volley was blocked just in front of the goal line, but Zusi reacted quickly to pounce on the loose ball and roll it over the line from a few yards.

The crossbar came to the rescue of Perkins again early in the second half when a chipped ball from Chance Myers was nodded off the bar by Kei Kamara, but Perkins wasn't as lucky in the 73rd minute.

A through ball was played toward Saad but he was beaten to it by Portland defender Eric Brunner, whose attempted clearance struck Saad in the leg and looped over the head of the Timbers 'keeper.

It was a play that summed up the night for the visitors, whose lone positive moment came eight minutes from time when Dike redirected a cross from Rodney Wallace past Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen, spoiling his clean sheet.