Sebastian Blanco scored in the 14th minute, and the Portland Timbers handed NYCFC their first loss in over three months by holding on for a 1-0 victory Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.
NYCFC (7-2-8, 29 points) absorbed their first loss since a 4-0 drubbing in Toronto on March 29. The defeat snapped a team-record 12-game unbeaten streak (7-0-5), the longest run in MLS this season.
Portland (7-8-2, 23 points) beat NYCFC for the fourth time in five all-time meetings on a humid night in which it allowed 67.6 percent of the possession, conceded 13 corner kicks and 15 shots (five on goal), and was assessed five yellow yards in the final minutes of the first half.
Portland’s Brian Fernandez saw his MLS-record five-game goal scoring streak to start his career end, though he had a goal disallowed due to being ruled offsides in the 63rd minute.
Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark made five saves, recording his third shutout of the season and the 29th of his career. He preserved the lead during second-half stoppage time with saves on Anton Tinnerholm and Maximiliano Moralez, and then pushed a shot by Sebastien Ibeagha over the crossbar with his right hand
NYCFC also took their first home loss since Sept. 5 and lost for only the second time in the Bronx (16-2-8) since the start of last season.
Brad Stuver finished with one save for NYCFC.
Portland scored within the first 15 minutes of a match for the first time this year.
The Timbers took the lead on an opportunistic play by Blanco on a set piece, after Blanco won a free kick on a foul by Alexander Ring. Diego Valeri lifted the ball over the defense and it took a deflection, allowing Blanco to get through defenders and chip the ball into the right side of the net.
After Blanco’s third goal of the season, Clark preserved the lead by stopping Ronald Matarrita‘s left-footed shot in the 28th minute.
Fourteen minutes after Fernandez saw his goal disallowed, the Timbers missed another golden opportunity to double their lead as Jeremy Ebobisse hit the right post with a left-footed shot on a tough angle.