Portland took its first home loss of the MLS season with D.C. United taking all three points from the Timbers.
Perry Kitchen gave United the lead in the first half before Jack Jewsbury equalized following a penalty-kick controversy in the second half. A penalty kick from Chris Ponitus gave United the lead again, and Josh Wolff added one more with five minutes left, before Jorge Perlaza scored with two minutes remaining to give Portland a punter’s chance.
The two teams got off to a slow start in the match, as neither team looked like troubling the keepers early on. United’s Blake Brettschneider had the first chance of the match in the 12th minute, but his weak effort from range rolled wide.
The Black and Red shocked Portland a minute later, as Perry Kitchen scored his first professional goal. Chris Pontius took a throw in from the left, which was flicked at the near post by Brettschneider. The flick bounced in the middle of the box, and Kitchen arrived at the right moment to poke it home for the 1-0 lead.
Neither team from there would create many good goal scoring opportunities, although Portland had plenty of chances with set pieces in the first half. However, United was able to eliminate the threats from the free kicks, restricting Portland’s looks on goal.
In the 40th minute, Joseph Ngwenya put a header on target after a cross from Pontius, but Portland ‘keeper Troy Perkins made the quick save. Two minutes later, Kenny Cooper had the ball in the back of the net for Portland, but the goal was called back for offside.
Ethan White and Sal Zizzo had chances in the dying moments of the half for United and Timbers, respectively, but in both cases, the keepers were able to keep the ball out of the goal.
Both teams continued to struggle to create chances, as most shots early in the second half failed to test either keeper. Zizzo had a long range effort in the 52nd minute, but shot wide, before Josh Wolff, who came on for Ngwenya, went wide after a quick United move.
In the 58th minute, Cooper again had the ball in the back of the net, this time with a header from a Jewsbury free kick. For the second time though, Cooper was flagged for offside, and the goal did not stand. Futty Danso nearly converted another Jewsbury free kick, but Bill Hamid made a reflex save to deny Futty.
Portland had a chance to equalize in the 64th minute, as it was awarded a penalty, as Dejan Jakovic was adjudged to have pulled Cooper down in the box. Cooper stepped up to the penalty, but had his shot saved, before the linesman flagged Hamid for being off his line too early.
Cooper’s second attempt met the same fate, as Hamid saved it, but was flagged for being off his line too early. The third attempt was taken in the 67th minute by Jewsbury, and the third time proved to be the charm, as Jewsbury sent Hamid the wrong way to make the score 1-1.
United won a penalty of its own in the 75th minute, giving it a chance to retake the lead again. Diego Chara handled the ball in the box, and Pontius stepped to the spot, and sent Perkins the wrong way to give United the 2-1 lead.
The game looked to have been settled in the 85th minute, as Wolff scored to give United a 3-1 lead. A goal kick from Hamid was flicked on perfectly by Brettschneider for Wolff, who ran onto the ball, and popped it over Perkins for the insurance goal.
However, Jorge Perlaza gave Portland a reason to believe in the 88th minute, as he grabbed a goal to bring Portland within one. Jeremy Hall took a long throw from the right, and Perlaza beat his defender to the spot to head the ball past Hamid to make the score 3-2 for United.
Perlaza had one final chance in stoppage time, but his sizzling effort from the top of the box went just wide of Hamid’s goal, and United escaped with the win.
For more D.C. United and MLS chatter, follow Steven Streff on Twitter @streffsoccer
Keep updated with Major League Soccer by visiting Goal.com's MLS page and joining Goal.com's page.