PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — An own goal put D.C. United up in the 24th minute and the team held on for a 1-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
It was United’s second straight win after a three-game losing streak, with both victories coming on the road.
United (12-10-9) was denied another goal before halftime. Television replays appeared to show the ball cross the goal line before Timbers midfielder Eryk Williamson cleared it out.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for the Timbers (13-12-4). It was the Portland’s fourth loss at home, most since the 2012 season.
Wayne Rooney returned to United’s starting lineup after a two-game suspension for violent conduct in the 21st minute of a match against the Red Bulls on Aug. 21. Rooney leads the team with 11 goals and seven assists in 26 league appearances this season. The striker will leave United at the end of the season to become a player-coach for Derby County in England.
United was coming off a 3-0 road victory over the Montreal Impact, while Portland’s last result was a 2-1 win at home over Sporting Kansas City.
The Timbers played a depleted squad against United with only 16 players available. Sebastian Blanco was nursing a lower leg injury while top scorer Brian Fernandez was out because of an illness. Defender Zarek Valentin was absent because of the birth of his child.
United went ahead on the own goal when Portland defender Bill Tuiloma tried unsuccessfully to clear a cross from Ulises Segura. A second goal was denied in the 38th minute when Rooney’s corner into the box bounced off Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark but was booted out of the goal by Williamson. United players pleaded that the ball crossed the goal line but the referee did not go to a video review and allowed play to continue.
Portland had a number of chances. Diego Valeri’s header in the 16th minute for the Timbers hit the post then skidded across the front of the goal. Jorge Moreira lofted a shot from distance in the 51st minute but United goalkeeper Bill Hamid pushed it just above the crossbar.
United coach Ben Olsen played Paul Arriola as an attacking midfielder for the third straight game. Arriola was not on the U.S. national team roster for recent friendlies against Mexico and Uruguay because of a family matter.
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