The Portland Timbers gave up another early goal and never recovered en route to losing 4-1 to Orlando City SC in tonight's nationally televised match. Although the Timbers spent much of the match pressing forward, the side was never in control as Orlando punished their repeated sloppy play.
The Timbers started the match on the back foot, giving up the first goal for the third time this season as City struck in the 13th minute. After the Timbers gave up a foul thirty yards from goal, Orlando's captain, Kaka, curled a well placed free kick into the Timbers box where defender Seb Hines rose up to meet it. Despite Nat Borchers on his back, Hines was able to get up and flick the ball on, placing it perfectly over Adam Kwarasey to open the scoring.
Things went from bad to worse in the 32nd as Orlando fullback Brek Shea steamed down the left flank. With Alvas Powell on his hip, Shea played a quick one-two pass off Kaka, leaving Powell, hesitating, behind him and slamming a low-angle shot past Kwarasey and into the back of the net to extend Orlando's lead.
It seemed like the Timbers had been handed a lifeline in the 43rd as the ball was served into the Orlando box following a prolonged period of pressure form the Timbers. With a pair of City defenders on hand, somehow the ball bounced into the arm of Shea and after a moment of silence the referee blew for the penalty. Fanendo Adi, the Timbers' penalty kick taker since late last season, stepped up to the spot and hit a low, hard shot to Orlando keeper Joe Bendik's right. Bendik was ready, however, and got down to palm away Adi's attempt and preserve the 2-0 scoreline.
The second half did not start off any better as, in the ??th minute, the Timbers suddenly found themselves down 3-0. With the Timbers holding possession and working the ball through the midfield, an errant pass caromed off the referee and somehow sprang a quick Orlando attack. Working the ball down the right, Orlando hit a low centering pass that skipped back toward the top of the box and into the path of Kaka's late run. With the Timbers' defenders trailing him, Kaka hit a low shot at the near post from just tousled the box, slotting the ball coolly past Kwarasey for the goal.
With the Timbers looking destitute, Orlando were merciless in closing out the match. As the Timbers pressed forward in desperate need of something positive, it was City who found the back of the net yet again. Breaking down the pitch, Orlando played the ball into the Timbers box, only to see Kwarasey, with a forward closing him down, bobble the ball. The Lions managed a square ball to Kevin Molino in the center of the box and, with an open net in front of the Orlando forward, Diego Chara could not help but foul him as he poked the ball away. Molino stepped up to the spot and hit a hard penalty just inside the far post that Kwarasey could not get to, giving Orlando the 4-0 lead.
The Timbers would finally get on the board in the 88th minute, grabbing a consolation goal to close out the match. Continuing to put pressure on Orlando despite their deficit, the Timbers got the ball to Jack Barmby out wide on the left flank. Hesitating, Barmby hit a low pass into the box that bounced around and eventually fell to Diego Valeri, who cut a low ball through the center of the box. With Bendik scrambling, second half substitute Jack McInerney was able to bundle home a simple finish for the goal.
The Timbers are on the road again next weekend as they take on the LA Galaxy in Carson, CA.