FC Dallas 3, Portland Timbers 1 | 2016 MLS Match Recap
FC Dallas, the top team in MLS, defeated the defending MLS Cup champion Portland Timbers 3-1 on Saturday night at Toyota Stadium for a victory that allowed them to stretch their lead in the Western Conference and in the race for the Supporters' Shield.
Playmaker Mauro Diaz opened the scoring for the home side, coolly converting a penalty in the 14th minute and he was also pivotal in the play that led to Dallas' second just before the halftime whistle, opening up the Portland defense with a beautifully manufactured passing combination which ended with Victor Ulloa powering home a loose ball inside the box.
The Portland Timbers introduced speedster Darren Mattocks at the start of the second half for his first action since July 10 in the hope that his inclusion would inject a spark into their side. And Lucas Melano nearly got the Timbers back into the match when his long-range effort from well outside the box clattered off the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Dallas capitalized on the miss and salted their victory just seconds after Melano had nearly shifted the momentum in Portland’s direction. FCD center back Walker Zimmerman rose high into the air and headed home a brilliant set piece from Diaz that sealed the critical three points.
- 14’ -- DAL -- Mauro Díaz (PK)
- 47’ -- DAL -- Victor Ulloa
- 53’ -- DAL -- Walker Zimmerman (Mauro Diaz)
- 87' -- POR -- Diego Valeri (Zarek Valentin)
- Full boxscore
1. DIAZ STAYS COOL
Mauro Diaz continued his bid for the MVP trophy, once again logging another standout performance for FC Dallas on Saturday night. He scored a goal from the spot (he's now 3-for-3 on PK attempts) and notched a pretty assist -- his 11th of the season.
2. REVENGE IS A DISH BEST SERVED COLD
After Portland ousted Dallas in the 2015 playoffs on their way to their first MLS Cup title, the Texas side has now bested the Portland Timbers in all three of their MLS contests so far in the 2016 regular season. FC Dallas have scored eight goals and have only conceded three in the season series.
3. COME HOME DARLINGTON
Darlington Nagbe, currently with the US national team, was sorely missed by the Timbers. Since his MLS debut in 2011, Nagbe has played 181 league matches for the Timbers and missed only 17 games. Unsurprisingly, the Timbers' record is significantly worse without their superstar. Since 2011, they have a 35 percent win rate when he makes an appearance for the club, but that figure drops to 29 percent when he misses a match.