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Portland takes advantage of set piece opportunities, turns back Austin 2-0

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin FC lost for the first time at home since the season opener Wednesday, falling 2-0 to the Portland Timbers at Q2 Stadium.

Portland scored a goal in each half but none in the run of play. The Timbers got on the board late in the first half on a terrific 30-yard free kick from Evander, his eighth goal of the season, and Jonathan Rodriguez cashed a penalty kick in the 66th minute to put the game on ice.

  • Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) jumps past Austin FC defender Leo Vaisanen (15) to gain control of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) jumps past Austin FC defender Leo Vaisanen (15) to gain control of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/373657/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Diego Chara;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Diego Chara</a> (21) blocks a kick by Austin FC midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/2382735/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Daniel Pereira;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Daniel Pereira</a>, center, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC forward <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/373517/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Gyasi Zardes;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Gyasi Zardes</a> (9) and Portland Timbers defender <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/491514/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Miguel Araujo;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Miguel Araujo</a> (2) leap for a pass during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/2756384/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Owen Wolff;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Owen Wolff</a> (33) moves the ball past Portland Timbers defender Juan David Mosquera, second from left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/3892907/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Jhojan Valencia;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Jhojan Valencia</a> (5) heads the ball past Portland Timbers midfielder Evander (10) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC forward Gyasi Zardes, left, and Portland Timbers defender Miguel Araujo, right, vie for control of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Austin FC forward Gyasi Zardes, left, and Portland Timbers defender Miguel Araujo, right, vie for control of the ball during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC defender Guilherme Biro (29) has the ball past Portland Timbers defender <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/1788853/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Kamal Miller;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Kamal Miller</a> (4) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira (6) kicks the ball past Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (21) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira (6) kicks the ball past Portland Timbers midfielder Diego Chara (21) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC forward <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/384046/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Diego Rubio;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Diego Rubio</a>, left, and Portland Timbers midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/826508/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Cristhian Paredes;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Cristhian Paredes</a> (22) vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez, center, celebrates his score against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez, center, celebrates his score against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez, center, celebrates his score against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez, center, celebrates his score against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers midfielder Evander, center, is upended as he and Austin FC midfielder <a class="link " href="https://sports.yahoo.com/soccer/players/373509/" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Hector Jiménez;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Hector Jiménez</a> (16) chase the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, left, is tripped up as he and Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) pursue the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, left, is tripped up as he and Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) pursue the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC defender Leo Väisänen, left, and Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala (24) leap for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Austin FC defender Leo Väisänen, left, and Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala (24) leap for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) scores against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Portland Timbers forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) scores against Austin FC during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala (24), forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) and Austin FC forward Gyasi Zardes, second from left, vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Portland Timbers midfielder David Ayala (24), forward Jonathan Rodríguez (14) and Austin FC forward Gyasi Zardes, second from left, vie for the ball during the second half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
  • Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, right, is tripped up by Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
    Austin FC midfielder Daniel Pereira, right, is tripped up by Portland Timbers forward Antony (11) during the first half of an MLS soccer match in Austin, Texas, Wednesday, May 29, 2024. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

“The opportunities were there,” Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff said. “The final actions were sloppy.”

Austin (6-5-5, 23 points) had plenty of chances but Sebastian Driussi had a penalty kick in the 16th minute stopped by Timbers goalkeeper James Pantemis, and another point-blank shot turned away in first-half stoppage time. According to Major League Soccer analytics, Driussi’s second shot had a 47% chance of finding the back of the net. Driussi left the game in the second half with what appeared to be a leg injury. Wolff said Driussi will get an MRI to assess the severity of the injury.

Austin had 14 shots, three on target, with an expected goal rating of 2.2 mainly due to the penalty kick. Portland (5-7-4, 19 points) made their opportunities count, scoring twice on just three shots on target with eight shots overall. The Timbers had one shot on target in the run of play with an expected goals rating of 1.4. Portland has won three of its last four matches.

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Verde and Black possessed the ball more than Portland, 59% to 41%. Pantemis, filling in for usual starter Maxime Crepeau, made three saves for the Timbers. Austin goalkeeper Brad Stuver made one stop.

Portland moved into ninth place in the Western Conference with the victory and Austin held in fifth. Coming in, Portland was one of the worst road teams in MLS with just one win in eight matches. Conversely, Austin has been very good at home this season. This was the club’s second loss in nine home matches. Austin heads to league-leading Salt Lake on Saturday.

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