PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Marvin Loria scored the go-ahead goal in first-half stoppage time and the Portland Timbers beat Sporting Kansas City 2-1 on Saturday night.
Dairon Asprilla also scored to help the Timbers (4-4-0) win for the third time in four games.
Jaylin Lindsey scored for Kansas City (5-3-2), which dominated possession but saw its four-game undefeated streak snapped.
The teams had not met since 2019.
“I know we needed to win, so I feel amazing about (the goal),” Loria said.
It was the first game back for the Timbers after the international break. Sebastian Blanco, who tore his right ACL in a game last September, made his season debut for Portland in the 81st minute. Goalkeeper Steve Clark, who was questionable going into the match because of a left thigh strain, started.
Blanco was treated to a loud ovation when he took the field for the first time in 286 days.
“I think this day will live with me in my memories, in my mind, in my body for the rest of my life,” Blanco said after the game.
Portland’s Felipe Mora was on international duty for the Copa America with Chile, while Yimmi Chara was with Colombia.
Sporting was without midfielder Graham Zusi because of a hamstring injury, but top scorer Alan Pulido was back after a call-up for Mexico.
Sporting coach Peter Vermes said the Timbers were able to shut Pulido down.
“They were doing everything they could to stop him. There were three, four guys around him. … It’s not going to be easy every time. So again, you’ve got to give the other team credit, too, for defending him, blocking shots and doing all those things as well,” Vermes said.
Lindsey gave Sporting the lead in the 28th minute with his second goal of the season. The Timbers pulled even in the 36th with Asprilla’s second-chance goal.
Loria put the Timbers up 2-1 with a goal before the break. Lindsey tried to clear the ball from the line but Loria tapped it in.
The Timbers were allowed to have 80% capacity (about 20,000 fans) at Providence Park as coronavirus restrictions in Oregon are eased. The Timbers Army supporters’ group displayed a banner in celebration on Juneteenth that read, “Break Every Chain.”
“It’s always tough to come here to Portland and play in front of their fans, they have a good atmosphere and stuff like that,” Lindsey said. “And I feel like we really dominated the game, we were moving the ball, we created chances and we just couldn’t put anything else in the back of the net.”
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