Valeri has now scored both of Portland’s goals this season, with his 12th-minute volley beating Nashville goalkeeper Joe Willis. Andy Polo, playing deep in midfield, headed a clearance back into the 18-yard box, only for the Argentine veteran to pounce.
Nashville looked especially bright through Randall Leal and Hany Mukhtar, though struggled to threaten Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark until the 69th minute. That’s when holding midfielder Anibal Godoy unleashed a bullet to the far corner, but Clark’s sprawling hand prevented an equalizer.
Chasing a lifeline, Nashville nearly found net deep into second-half stoppage time via Walker Zimmerman. The center back had moved to center forward, though his looping header narrowly missed the side netting.
- 12' – POR – Diego Valeri | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: Portland will be happy with the three points, though it wasn’t exactly an electric performance from the hosts. They managed just three shots as compared to Nashville’s 14, and didn’t shoot at all beyond the 24th minute. While Nashville lost for the second straight game since entering MLS, head coach Gary Smith’s side continues to be steadfast and could have certainly earned a point.
0 - @TimbersFC did not attempt a shot in the second half of a home match for just the second time in their MLS history (also in a 1-0 win over San Jose in June 2016). Eke.— OptaJack⚽️ (@OptaJack) March 9, 2020
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Diego Valeri made his hour-plus on the field count, highlighted by his goal in the 11th minute. It was an instinctive finish from the 2017 Landon Donovan MLS MVP, who now 78 goals since coming to the Rose City.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Offseason signing Dario Zuparic logged an effective and essential performance at center back alongside Timbers’ teammate Larrys Mabiala. As Nashville threw several strikers and looks at him, the Croatian newcomer stood firm.