The Portland Timbers left it late to secure a 2-1 win over CD Dragon of El Salvador to open up CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday night with Diego Valeri's late shot eking over the line to deliver the three points.
Portland were the aggressors early, and they broke through just shy of the halfway point in the first half. Valeri got the assist from inside the penalty area, feeding Jack McInerney who was right in front of goal.
The equalizer came just after the 76th minute, as a Dragon counter exposed the Timbers defense and Jake Gleeson was caught in no-man's land on Kenroy Howell's header.
The Timbers kept fighting, and it was Valeri cleaning up a melee in front of goal that gave them the victory. He barely got enough on it to push the ball toward the goal, but Dragon's Henry Hernandez was unable to keep it out.
- 21' - POR - Jack McInerney (Diego Valeri)
- 76' - CDD - Kenroy Howell (Jamal Jack)
- 90' - POR - Diego Valeri
- Full Box Score
- JUST KEEP SCORING: It was McInerney's second time in a CONCACAF Champions League tournament, and luckily for the Timbers, he tends to have a nose for goal in international play. His goal against Dragon is his fourth all-time in CCL, having scored three times for the Montreal Impact during their historic run in 2014-'15.
- I LOOK AT YOU, AND I'M HOME: The Timbers' home advantage is well known, but in CCL play the Timbers have only known victory. In fact, over three games, they've outscored CCL opponents at home 12-3.
- IT'S HIS FIRST TIME AT SCHOOL: Dragon's 2016 Clausura championship in El Salvador was the first title for the club since 1953. Unfortunately, history hasn't been kind to Salvadoran sides making their first CCL appearance, as they've now gone 0-3-4 collectively.
- Portland: Sunday vs. Sporting Kansas City (4 pm ET, ESPN)