KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Daniel Salloi scored his first career MLS goal in the second half and Sporting Kansas City remained unbeaten at home with a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.
Diego Valeri’s 10th goal, in the 26th minute, got the struggling Timbers (7-7-5) on the board against the league’s stingiest defense.
Getting the ball from Sebastian Blanco, Valeri dribbled down the middle before unleashing a rocket from outside the box that found space between the fingertips of leaping goalkeeper Tim Melia and the crossbar.
“We’re always thinking about the next ball and the last whistle. It’s hard,” Valeri said.
The Timbers nearly reclaimed the lead in the 73rd minute when Fanendo Adi earned a penalty kick after he was taken down inside the box by Melia, but Valeri’s attempt from the penalty spot was saved.
“I’m responsible for the decision with the penalty kick and the goalkeeper got my intention and that’s it,” Valeri said. “It’s a moment. We have to think about the next moment.”
Portland had just nine points in its previous 10 games with five straight losses on the road.
“Cut out a few mistakes, obviously the goal was a mistake, and if we finish our chance on the PK or the cross we get three points,” Timbers coach Caleb Porter said. “But, Valeri can’t think twice about that PK because we’re not even in the position we’re in unless he scores the first goal. It was unlucky. Obviously he’ll score that nine out of 10 times.”
Salloi took a delivery from Roger Espinoza, settled the ball and found the top corner in the 60th minute. Salloi, who entered the game in the 35th minute, had played in just eight of 18 matches, averaging less than 10 minutes with no shots on target.
Salloi’s goal was the only shot on target for Sporting KC (8-4-7), which leads the Western Conference and is 6-0-3 at home.