A second-half header from Bill Tuiloma was all the Portland Timbers needed to take a 1-0 victory over Austin FC on a rainy Saturday evening at Providence Park.
HIGHLIGHTS: Portland Timbers vs. Austin FC | March 12, 2022
The result brought an end to Austin's blistering start to the season, which saw them score 10 goals across two blowout victories over FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami CF. Portland, meanwhile, picked up the first three-point result of their 2022 campaign after opening the season with back-to-back draws.
After a scoreless first half, Portland found the breakthrough on 62 minutes through Tuiloma. The center back cashed home a powerful header past Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver, set up by a pinpoint free kick from Yimmi Chara.
Austin pushed hard for an equalizer down the stretch, but could never quite find one. Cecilio Dominguez had one of the best looks for the visitors in the 70th minute, missing just high on a volley attempt set up by a perfectly placed long ball from Alex Ring.
Six minutes later, Austin nearly struck again after a frantic sequence in the box that resulted in multiple blocked shots, one of which was headed off the line by Tuiloma. The Timbers withstood Austin's wave of late pressure after that to secure all three points.
- 62' – POR – Bill Tuiloma | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Austin FC were flying high coming into the contest, but got a bit of a reality check in one of the most hostile venues for visiting opponents in MLS. They still look like a much-improved side in their second year under Josh Wolff, and will put that further to the test with another matchup with a Cascadia opponent next on the docket when they encounter Seattle Sounders FC in Week 4. Portland should be pleased overall with how they've started the season, taking draws against two strong opponents in the New England Revolution and LAFC, and now bagging their season's first win.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Tuiloma got denied by the woodwork on a headed attempt in the first half, but he ensured that wouldn't happen a second time on his 62nd-minute winner.
GOAL: Bill Tuiloma, Portland Timbers - 62nd minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Tuiloma made the two most crucial plays for Portland, scoring the game's only goal and heading one of Austin's best chances off the line.
- POR: Saturday, March 19 at FC Dallas | 8:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, DAZN in Canada)
- ATX: Sunday, March 20 vs. Seattle Sounders FC | 4:30 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)