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Diego Valeri Scores Again in 1-0 Portland Timbers Win Over New York City FC

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MLS: Portland Timbers at New York City FC Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers gutted out their fourth road win of the year on Saturday, beating New York City FC 1-0 at Yankee Stadium.

After sustained pressure from New York to start the match, the Timbers were able to rattle off a couple of quick chances late in the first half, coming close with a Roy Miller header in the 41st minute and a series of half chances in the moments after.

Smelling blood in the water, the Timbers broke through just three minutes after Miller managed their first shot on goal. As NYCFC looked to play the ball out of the back, Darren Mattocks put the home side’s back line under constant pressure, eventually turning over Italian legend Andrea Pirlo deep in the New York end.

Mattocks quickly picked his head up and found Diego Valeri inside the box as the New York defense scrambled to recover. Valeri settled the ball with a touch before slamming home a side-footed shot at the near post that split a pair of New York defenders and left Blues keeper Sean Johnson flat-footed as it rippled the back of the net.

The goal marked the seventh straight game in which Valeri has scored, tying the MLS record. Valeri’s streak reaches all the way back to the Timbers’ July draw against the Houston Dynamo.

New York came close to finding an answer in the opening moments of the second half when center back Frederic Brilliant nodded a long free kick on goal only for Timbers keeper Jeff Attinella to get down to the ground and make the stop. The rebound fell to Brilliant, now prone on the ground, but his laying-down header could not be steered on target, and rolled out for a goal kick.

The Timbers came close as well in the 55th minute as a corner kick from Guzman found the near post run of Vytas Andriuskevicius. Getting free from his man, Vytas was able to get his head on the ball, redirecting it on goal only for Johnson to make a strong reaction save and keep the scoreline at 1-0.

With both sides looking for the second goal of the match, it was the Timbers who looked most likely to score and surely would have if not for Johnson making series of saves throughout the half. The biggest came in the 84th minute when Sebastian Blanco drove into the New York box from wide right before picking out Valeri with a pass in the box. Valeri took his chance with his first touch, side-footing the ball toward what looked like an open goal only for a heroic dive from Johnson to push the ball just over the bar.

Johnson’s seven saves kept New York in the match, but ultimately they were not enough as the home side could not find the equalizer and the match ended 1-0 to the Timbers.

The Timbers are on the road again next weekend when they travel to Utah to take on Real Salt Lake.