PORTLAND - Nashville SC dropped 1-0 in a tough contest on the road at the Portland Timbers despite controlling possession and scoring chances for the majority of the match. Diego Valeri put the Timbers ahead for good in the 12’ minute with a world-class strike, and Nashville couldn’t answer with any of its 14 shots.
In the opening minutes of the match, Nashville dictated the pace and pressed high up the pitch, creating opportunities and maintaining possession. Hany Mukhtar had the first real chance of the match on a dangerous free kick opportunity that sailed narrowly over the bar in the 6’ minute.
Valeri put the Timbers on the board in the 12’ minute after Portland got their legs under them and began to ease into the flow of the match. Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis was later called upon to make a save on a first-touch shot by Felipe Mora in the 24’ minute.
Nashville SC controlled the pace in the final minutes of the half. In the 40’ minute, Randall Leal cut inside from his left flank and took a shot on target that was grasped by Portland keeper Steve Clark.
In the second half, Nashville completely owned the run of play, getting into dangerous areas but could not push one over the line. Early in the half, Leal got a strong feed after link play between Mukhtar and Dax McCarty, but his shot sailed high.
Aníbal Godoy had the best chance of the half in the 69’ minute when he found himself with space at the top of the box and curled a ball towards the back post that was narrowly parried wide by Clark. After coming on the pitch, Daniel Ríos put a strong chance into the side netting, and Nashville ended the match without putting one in the back of the net.
12’ POR – Diego Valeri
0 – The Portland Timbers took no shots after Willis made a save on Mora in the 24’ minute. Nashville SC completely dictated possession and the pace of play and limited Portland’s chances, particularly in the second half, but couldn’t finish any of their 14 shots.
Nashville travels north of the border next weekend to take on Eastern Conference foe Toronto FC on Saturday, March 14. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m. CT.