Per Timbers media release:
PORTLAND, Ore. – Playing their first home match of the 2019 season following 12 consecutive road games to begin the campaign, the Portland Timbers tallied a pair of second-half goals, but were unable to find a late equalizer, falling 3-2 to Los Angeles FC in front a sellout crowd of 25,218 fans at Providence Park on Saturday night. Brian Fernandez recorded his fourth goal in three games with Portland, while Cristhian Paredes notched his second goal of the season.
Fernandez scored in a third consecutive game for Portland, tallying his first career goal at Providence Park. He is the first player in the Timbers MLS era to score in each of his first three matches for the club. With the goal, Fernandez has scored four goals in his first three games for the Timbers. His four goals are tied for the team lead in 2019.
Portland (4-7-2, 14pts) outshot LAFC 12-4 in the second half and finished with a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal. The Timbers recorded seven shots on goal in the second half, which is tied for the third-most by a team in a the second half of any MLS match this season. It is also tied for the third-most shots on target by the Timbers in the second half of an MLS match.
Return to Providence Park
Saturday’s match marked the first home match for the Timbers at Providence Park in 223 days, when the club played host to Sporting Kansas City in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 25, 2018. The attendance for the match was 25,218, the largest crowd at the stadium since the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals (27,623). The crowd was the sixth-largest ever for a Timbers match and the largest since June 12, 1976, against the New York Cosmos (32,247).
Jeremy Ebobisse and Jorge Villafaña delivered their first assists of the 2019 season in the match. Ebobisse now has six assists for his MLS career. Villafaña tallied his 15th career MLS assist. Nine of Villafaña’s 15 assists have come as a member of the Timbers. Additionally, Jorge Moreira and Fernandez made their Providence Park debuts in the match.
LAFC took a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the match. Carlos Vela intercepted a pass just outside Portland’s box, dribbled toward goal and converted from close range.
Portland nearly leveled the score in the eighth minute on a corner kick. Diego Valeri delivered a ball to the back post for Larrys Mabiala, who found space and sent a powerful header just wide of the right post.
LAFC doubled its lead in the 34th minute. Working the ball down the right side of the field, Tristan Blackmon received a pass from Vela near right side of the box and played a low, hard cross to Diego Rossi in the center of the box for the finish from close range.
After Fernandez nearly opened the scoring less than 20 seconds into the second half, the Timbers made it a 2-1 game in the 46th minute, when Paredes recorded his second goal of the season. Keeping possession just outside LAFC’s box, Sebastián Blanco played a cross from the left side of the box to Fernandez at the edge of the six-yard box. Fernandez put a diving header on frame, forcing a stop by LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller, but Miller was unable to control the ball and Paredes pounced, firing the ball into the back of the net.
Remaining on the front foot, Diego Chara created a turnover inside the center circle and directed the ball to Fernandez running into space down the middle of the field. Fernandez surged past his defender and found himself one-on-one with Miller. Fernandez sent a low, hard shot toward the bottom right corner of the goal, but Miller dove to his left to make the save in the 48th minute.
LAFC tallied its third goal of the game in the 54th minute. Jordan Harvey played a diagonal ball from the left wing near the edge of the box, picking out Latif Blessing, who was making a run to the right post, and Blessing delivered a one-touch shot into the back of the net.
Fernandez came close to a second goal for Portland in the 56th minute. Moreira dribbled down the right side of the field and played a pinpoint cross to Fernandez near the penalty spot. Fernandez connected with a header, but again Miller made the save.
Pushing for a second goal, Valeri received a pass at the left corner of the box and attempted to curl his shot inside the right post. Miller dove to his left to push the ball just wide of the post in the 61st minute.
Fernandez scored his fourth goal in three games to cut the Timbers deficit to 3-2 in the 85th minute. Villafaña played a cross into the center of the box from the left side and Ebobisse headed the ball to Fernandez, who finished with a bicycle kick at the edge of the six-yard box
- Brian Fernandez scored his fourth goal of the season, tying him for the club lead.
- Fernandez has scored in all three of his matches for Portland. He is the first player in the Timbers MLS era to score in each of his first three matches.
- Cristhian Paredes scored his second goal of the season and the third of his Timbers career.
- Two of Paredes’ three career goals have come against LAFC at Providence Park.
- Jorge Villafaña had his first assist of the season and the 15th of his MLS career in the match. Nine of Villafaña’s 15 assists have come as a member of the Timbers.
- Jeremy Ebobisse delivered his first assist of the season. Ebobisse now has six assists in his MLS career.
- Jorge Moreira and Fernandez made their Providence Park debuts in the match.
- Portland’s seven shots on goal in the second half were tied for the third-most by a team in the second half of any MLS match this season. It is also tied for the third-most shots on target by the Timbers in the second half of an MLS match.
- The attendance for the match was 25,218. That is the largest crowd at Providence Park since the 2003 FIFA Women’s World Cup semifinals (27,623).
- The crowd was the sixth-largest ever for a Timbers match and the largest crowd since June 12, 1976, against the New York Cosmos (32,247).
- The Timbers are 17-7-5 all-time in home openers with a plus-25 goal differential.
Up next, the Timbers square off against Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, June 12, at Cheney Stadium; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). Portland returns to action in league play on Saturday, June 22, playing host to the Houston Dynamo at Providence Park. Beginning at 8 p.m. (Pacific), the match features a local television broadcast on ROOT SPORTS with local radio broadcasts on 1029 and 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).