Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Robert Earnshaw made quite an impression in his Vancouver Whitecaps FC debut, coming off the bench to score the winning goal in stoppage time in a 2-1 win over the Portland Timbers at BC Place on Saturday.

Earnshaw was signed on Wednesday by Vancouver and started the game on the bench. But after entering the contest in the 87th minute he took a pass from Pedro Morales and netted the winning goal to endear himself to the Whitecaps fans.

A win over Cascadia Cup rivals Portland will always be important, but it is also Vancouver's third straight victory.

Portland started the season with three successive draws before Saturday's defeat.

Nicolas Mezquida got the hosts off to a good start in the 15th minute when he lined up a free kick from 25 yards and curled the ball over the wall and just inside the left post, beyond the reach of diving goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey.

Morales came close to doubling the lead in the 57th with a first-time shot that sailed just over the crossbar, while Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted came up with a big stop on Darlington Nagbe's powerful shot 20 minutes from time.

But with eight minutes to play Portland was back on level terms as a low cross from Rodney Wallace was parried into the path of Fanendo Adi, who was left with a simple tap in.

Portland then failed to take advantage of two great chances as Dairon Asprilla nodded a ball down that bounced over the net from close range before Ousted produced a fine stop on Adi in a one-on-one situation.

It was then time for Earnshaw's heroics as he beat the offside trap and took the feed from Morales before chipping Kwarasey for the winner.