MLS: Timbers use first-half outburst to top Nashville SC

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Jonathan Rodriguez recorded a brace and the Portland Timbers scored four first-half goals en route to an easy 4-1 whipping of visiting Nashville SC on Sunday night.

Felipe Mora and Eryk Williamson also scored goals for the Timbers, who are 6-1-2 over their past nine matches. Santiago Moreno had two assists for Portland (9-8-6, 33 points).

Sam Surridge scored his eighth goal of the season for Nashville (6-8-8, 26 points), which lost its third straight match. Nashville SC played the final 55-plus minutes a man short due to a red card on Brian Anunga.

Portland goalkeeper James Pantemis had two saves, while Nashville counterpart Joe Willis had four.

The Timbers had an 18-12 edge in shots and placed eight on target to Nashville’s three.

Evander (10 goals, 11 assists) and coach Phil Neville missed the match for the Timbers due to yellow card accumulation. Assistant Dave van den Bergh served as Portland’s coach.

Portland scored its four first-half goals between the 18th and 29th minutes.

The outbreak began after Rodriguez stole the ball at midfield and dribbled toward the Nashville box. He delivered a pass to Mora, who booted a right-footed shot past Willis for his 10th goal of the season.

Three minutes later, Williamson passed the ball into the center of the box and found Juan Mosquera, who botched his kick attempt. But the ball went to a wide-open Rodriguez, who kicked a right-footer into the right corner of the net.

In the 24th minute, Moreno delivered a long pass to Rodriguez, who maneuvered to his right and kicked a right-footer from outside the box past Willis to make it 3-0. The goal was Rodriguez’s 11th of the season.

The splurge ended five minutes later after Moreno delivered another solid pass. Williamson received it on the run in front of the net and knocked a left-footer past Willis. It was Williamson’s second goal of the season.

In the 33rd minute, Anunga slid hard into the right knee of Portland’s David Ayala and was given a yellow card. Two minutes later, after a replay review, the card was upgraded to red.

Nashville thought it got on the board in the sixth minute of first-half stoppage time when Forster Ajago headed in a pass from Shaq Moore. However, Ajago was ruled to be offside.

Nashville ended Pantemis’ bid for a clean sheet in the 82nd minute, as Moore delivered a pass to Surridge in front of the net, and Surridge scored on a right-footer.

–Field Level Media

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