Urruti puts Portland over the top with stoppage-time goal vs. D.C. United

The Portland Timbers finally got their first win of the season, beating D.C. United on Saturday in dramatic fashion.

With the score tied 2-2 in stoppage time, substitute striker Maximiliano Urruti took an 8-yard shot. It bounced off goalkeeper Bill Hamid and came right back to Urruti, who fired again, this time sending the shot into the back of the net and giving the Timbers a 3-2 win before an announced sellout crowd of 20,814.

“It went toward the first post, and I hit it with my knee,” Urruti said, through a translator. “And it went to the corner of the goal, and it went in.”

Portland took the lead almost as soon as the match started, with a first-minute goal by Gaston Fernandez.

Portland then watched a 39-yard D.C. United shot find its way into the back of the net in the 21st minute.

The Timbers took a 2-1 lead in the 38th minute on a goal after a corner kick by Mamadou “Futty” Danso.

But the Timbers defender went from hero to goat in the second half, when he was in the wrong place at the wrong time and a D.C. United header off a corner kick bounced off him and into the goal for the equalizer.

It felt like déjà vu,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said.

Getting the win was huge for Portland (1-3-5, 8 points), as it tries to gain traction on a season that was starting to slip away.

“It’s just three points, but it’s a big three points,” Porter said. “It lifts a bit of a weight.

"We needed to take business at home. It’s three points, but it feels like more.”

The Timbers had .525 percent of the possession, took 19 shots and put six balls on frame.

D.C. United had .475 percent of the possession, took 16 shots and had four shots on goal.

The Timbers' opening goal came after Diego Valeri took the ball down the right side of the pitch. When he was 30 yards from goal, Valeri sent a pass to Fernandez, who had gotten behind his marker. Hamid came off his line to try to challenge the run. Fernandez gave Hamid a move and got him off his feet, then sent a shot into the back of the net from four yards.

D.C. United (3-3-2, 11 points) found the equalizer when midfielder Perry Kitchen took the ball at midfield and sent a pass to Davy Arnaud. The D.C. United midfielder was unmarked, 39 yards from goal. He took a touch then blasted a shot at the goal. The ball dipped and rose and somehow, from that distance, beat Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts to the left post.

Portland went up 2-1 on a goal by Danso, 12 yards from goal, off a free kick by Valeri.

In the 58th minute, referee Ricardo Salazar called a handball on the Timbers, ruling that a ball had hit Danso’s arm. Danso immediately went over to the side official pointing to his head. After a conference, Salazar reversed his call — and the Timbers dodged a very deadly bullet.

D.C. United tied the score again, though, this time off a corner kick from the right side. Striker Fabian Espindola sent the ball into the middle of the 18-yard box. It found D.C. United defender Cristian in a scrum eight yards from goal. Cristian out-jumped everyone and got his head on the ball. It bounced off Danso and went to the bottom left corner, out of the reach of Ricketts, for an own goal.

Danso was not in the locker room for comment after the match.

The Timbers will try to continue their winning ways as they finish a three-match homestand against the Los Angeles Galaxy on May 11 and the Columbus Crew on May 17.

Porter said beating D.C. United “will lift the group. They’ll play freer, more confident, and they’re going to continue getting better and better.

"This team still believes. This will unlock us a bit more. It’s the kind of result that really catapults a team. It was a season- changing result.”

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