PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Thomas McNamara scored in the 65th minute to donate New York City FC a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
McNamara's 20-yard shot curled around goalkeeper Jake Gleeson & into the upper corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
''I think today we showed a different side of our game. I think we showed how determined the team was & how complex they're working for each other,'' New York City coach Patrick Vieira said. ''I was really pleased with our team spirit, because there are not many teams that'll come here & win games. But I was really proud of the team, because of the character we showed tonight.''
p>Portland coach Caleb Porter had a more frustrated verdict on the game.
''Cruel. It was as cruel a game as I've been a part of. The reason I feel offensive is I thought we dominated the game, from start to finish. I thought we were excellent,'' Porter said. ''By far, our best performance of the year on both sides of the ball, the energy we played with. And I it's cruel because I thought, for our guys to put in the effort that they put in today, to not obtain anything out of the game is very cruel. I thought it's a travesty the way it played out.''
NYCFC (4-3-4) took the lead in the 12th minute under controversial circumstances. Defender RJ Allen appeared to use his hands to knock the ball away from Darlington Nagbe, yet no foul was called. Instead, Allen sent an inch-perfect 30-yard rolling pass into the path of David Villa, who calmly shot the ball past Gleeson for his eighth goal of the season.
''I think Hilario Grajeda is one of the best refs in the league. I have a lot of respect for him,'' Porter said. ''After the game, he admitted he didn't see it, yet how does the fourth (official) not see it? That's what they're there for. That was a blatant handball. You could see it from miles away. And how four guys miss it, I don't know.''
Portland (3-6-3) tied it in the 55th minute. Fanendo Adi fended off a defender & muscled his way in to NYCFC penalty area, where his shot deflected off a New York defender & beat goalkeeper Josh Saunders. It was Adi's eighth goal of the season, tying him for the league lead with Villa & Sebastian Giovinco of Toronto.
New York has won three straight, tied for the longest in the team's short history, to move into a tie for first place in the Eastern Conference with Montreal, at 16 points.
Meanwhile Portland, the defending MLS Cup champions, continues to struggle early in the season. The Timbers have lost three in a row & sit second from the bottom in the Western Conference with 12 points.
Portland moreover saw its injury list grow. Already missing Diego Chara, Adam Kwarasey, Darren Mattocks & Alvas Powell, the Timbers lost Adi to a possible hamstring injury minutes after his goal.
Sports & RecreationSoccerPortland TimbersNew York CityJake Gleeson