Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of clubs looking to snap winless streaks will tangle on Wednesday when the Portland Timbers return home to host D.C. United at Providence Park.
Portland comes into the match aiming to snap a two-match losing streak following a lackluster performance in a 1-0 defeat to Toronto FC on Saturday.
The Timbers struggled through the opening half at BMO field and fell behind after just five minutes when Sebastian Giovinco got on the end of a quick through ball from Luke Moore and uncorked a wicked, curling, left-footed strike that flew past Portland goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey into the side netting for the Italian's fifth goal of the season.
After making it to the halftime break only down by one goal, Portland upped its tempo in the second half and created many more scoring opportunities.
The best of which came with 10 minutes to play as substitute Max Urruti let a strike go with pace that looked ticketed for the bottom right corner, but Toronto goalkeeper Chris Konopka got down quickly to his left to palm it out of play.
Portland sent numbers forward as the fourth official's board showed three minutes of added time, but the visitors could not find a late equalizer to suffer their second consecutive defeat.
"I thought the second half was very good and that's what we're going to build on. Last two games we've given up a goal early. On the road, to get points, to get a result -- that can't happen," said Timbers head coach Caleb Porter.
"I was pleased with our spirit in the second half, the energy, the urgency, all the things that you want to see to start a game and for 90 minutes so we need to build on that second half. Obviously not pleased giving up the early goal. Not satisfied that we didn't find a goal. Obviously not pleased with the result, but ultimately I thought we had a breakthrough in that second half in terms of how we played and the energy. We were a bit unfortunate not to at least get the draw. I thought that was definitely a PK, watched the tape and it didn't go our way."
"We just did everything we wanted to do better. We were sharper, we switched the play quicker, we were more urgent when we got it wide, we were decisive. I thought our overall pressure and energy was better. Like I said I liked our spirit in that second half. If we do that for 90 minutes we're going to be in good shape to win games but we didn't do that for 90 minutes so ultimately that���s why we fall short."
United, meanwhile, is winless in two straight after a 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution last week -- despite the Revs finishing the match with only nine players.
Neither side managed to put a shot on goal in the first half until just before the break when Juan Agudelo turned a header on goal that forced a save from United netminder Bill Hamid. However, Charlie Davies was on hand to poke home the rebound.
The visitors managed very little in the attacking third, but things opened up a bit when Chris Tierney received a straight red card in the 52nd minute for a poor challenge on Chris Pontius.
Lee Nguyen followed six minutes later with an elbow on Davy Arnaud that earned him a second yellow card and his team down two men.
But despite the numerical advantage, it wasn't until the 80th minute that United managed to put a shot on goal, although they made it count.
Substitute Taylor Kemp delivered a low cross to the near post that Jairo Arrieta turned home, denying the Revs three points.
"I'm not sure what to say about that game. 1-0 down at half, I'll take the tie right? But at 1-1, up two men? It'd be nice to get out of here with a win," said United head coach Ben Olsen. "I think it's a game where certainly they were the better team in the first half and they looked a little bit sharper with the ball and I felt physically they were pretty imposing. We didn't necessarily match either of those parts of the game."