Sporting KC forward C.J. Sapong heads the ball over Portland Timbers midfielder Will Johnson, left, during the first half Saturday.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City has been one of the better defensive teams in Major League Soccer of late. But on Saturday, it could not match the visiting Portland Timbers.
Rodney Wallace scored in the 58th minute, lifting the Timbers to a 3-2 victory at Sporting Park.
Ryan Johnson had a goal and an assist for Portland (3-1-4), which extended its unbeaten streak to six matches and has won three of its last four.
For a Portland franchise that won only once away from home last season, beating one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference on its home turf was satisfying.
“I think it tells us that we can go into any game against any team, home or away, and play our identity and not hope to win but expect to win,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “It doesn’t mean we will win every game. Soccer is a funny sport. If we perform like we did tonight, we’re going to be a tough team to beat.”
Chance Myers scored the first two goals of his career for Sporting (4-3-2), including one 40 seconds into the match, but it was not enough to keep Kansas City from taking back-to-back losses.
Johnson equalized in the 24th minute with a header from a corner kick, but Myers made it 2-1 in the 29th with a tap-in. Four minutes later, Johnson drew out keeper Jimmy Nielsen with a run into the box and crossed to Darlington Nagbe for an easy finish.
“They really crushed us on the counter attack,” Nielsen said. “They were very good at it, and we gave the ball away in dangerous spots. Give them a lot of credit for punishing us for our mistakes.”
A week ago, Portland lost a lead in the dying seconds in a 1-1 draw at San Jose. Kansas City had several late best chances fly off target and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made a lunging late save to preserve the win.
TIMBERS 3, SPORTING K.C. 2
Portland 2 1—3
Sporting K.C. 2 0—2
First half—1, Sporting Kansas City, Myers 1 (Besler), 1st minute. 2, Portland, Johnson 4 (Valeri), 24th. 3, Sporting Kansas City, Myers 2 (Collin, Feilhaber), 29th. 4, Portland, Nagbe 2 (Johnson), 33rd.
Second half—5, Portland, Wallace 2 (Chara), 58th.
Goalies—Portland, Donovan Ricketts; Sporting Kansas City, Jimmy Nielsen.
Yellow Cards—Rosell, Sporting Kansas City, 51st; Zemanski, Portland, 79th; Wallace, Portland, 90th+.
Referee—Hilario Grajeda. Assistant Referees—Fabio Tovar. Chris Strickland. 4th Official—Younes Marrakchi.
Portland—Donovan Ricketts, Mikael Silvestre, Rodney Wallace, Michael Harrington, Mamadou Danso (Andrew Jean-Baptiste, 71st), Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe, Will Johnson, Jack Jewsbury, Diego Valeri (Frederic Piquionne, 78th), Ryan Johnson (Ben Zemanski, 72nd).
Sporting Kansas City—Jimmy Nielsen, Chance Myers (Mechack Jerome, 90th+), Seth Sinovic, Matt Besler, Oriol Rosell, Aurelien Collin, Graham Zusi, Paulo Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber (Jacob Peterson, 61st), C.J. Sapong, Claudio Bieler.