Single Blog Title

This is a single blog caption

Portland Timbers end winless rut, edge Columbus Crew

Columbus Crew

Sebastian Blanco scored the go-ahead goal in the 80th minute as the Portland Timbers broke a five-match winless streak with a 3-2 victory against the visiting Columbus Crew on Saturday.

Blanco was at the back post as a loose ball came to him, allowing him to score his first goal of the season.

The Timbers (6-9-8, 26 points) ended a stretch of two losses and three ties.

Columbus (10-7-6, 36 points) lost for the first time in nine matches (5-0-3 entering Saturday), but the outcome was not surprising since the Crew have never won in Portland (0-4-2).

The Timbers took a 2-0 lead when Dairon Asprilla scored in the 28th and 30th minutes to match his goal production in his previous 14 matches. But Lucas Zelarayan rallied the Crew, scoring in the third minute of first-half stoppage time and in the 65th to make it 2-2.

Portland was 1-4-5 in its previous 10 matches and had scored just five goals during that stretch, including four 0-0 scorelines.

All was forgotten when Asprilla erupted. He gave the Timbers the 1-0 lead after the Crew couldn’t clear a corner kick. In the ensuing scramble, he was left alone on the right side of the box and converted a pass from Dario Zuparic.

It didn’t take long to double the count. Off a throw-in, Franck Boli sent a cheeky chip into open space to Asprilla, and he was able to lift a shot to the left corner past Patrick Schulte.

The Crew were without forward Cucho Hernandez (five goals, 10 assists) and coach Wilfried Nancy because of red cards in the prior match against New York City FC.

Jacen Russell-Rowe replaced Hernandez and factored into the first Crew goal, slipping a pass to Zelarayan, who dribbled around goalkeeper David Bingham to deposit the ball into an open net.

Zelarayan got the equalizer with a rip from 25 yards out to the top right corner after a pass by Steven Moreira.