Red Bulls snap 3-game losing streak with 2-0 win at Portland

MLS
Ronald Zubar,Darlington Nagbe_325603

New York Red Bulls’ defender Ronald Zubar, left, fights for the ball against Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe, right, during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Sunday, July 10, 2016, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Kyle Duncan scored his first MLS goal in the opening minutes and Daniel Royer added a penalty kick in stoppage time to give the New York Red Bulls a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Wednesday night.

The Red Bulls (13-13-5), jockeying for home-field advantage in the playoffs with three games remaining, snapped a three-game losing streak.

It was the second straight loss for the Timbers (13-13-4) and fifth at home this season, matching the team’s mark for most home losses set in 2011, their first season in Major League Soccer.

Portland has gone 2-4 in its last six games as it tries to secure a spot in the postseason with four games left. Last year, the Timbers advanced to the MLS Cup final.

The Timbers had just 16 players available on Sunday when they fell 1-0 to D.C. United. Portland’s top scorer, Brian Fernandez, was back in the starting lineup against the Red Bulls after missing the previous game with a stomach illness.

Zarek Valentin, who missed the United game because of the birth of his first child, also started. Sebastian Blanco, who had a calf injury, was available on the bench.

Royer, Bradley Wright Phillips and Kaku did not start against the Timbers. Royer came in as a substitute in the second half.

Duncan scored for the Red Bulls in the third minute on a cross from Marc Rzatkowski. They nearly went up by another goal in the sixth minute when Rzatkowski’s rebound was cleared by Bill Tuiloma.

Duncan, a defender, is in his second season in the league.

The Red Bulls were awarded the penalty in stoppage time after Jorge Moreira took down Rzatkowski in the box.

Portland’s best chance came in the 19th minute when Diego Chara got a clear look at the goal but his shot caromed off the crossbar. Jeremy Ebobisse had another chance in the 82nd minute but his shot went just inches wide.

The Red Bulls were coming off a 4-2 loss at Seattle on Sunday. Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles played at the University of Portland, where the team practiced between the match against the Sounders and Wednesday night’s game.

The Timbers were hurt when Cristhian Paredes had to be stretched off in the 73rd minutes. He was replaced by Blanco.

The Red Bulls host the Philadelphia Union on Sunday while the Timbers host Minnesota.

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