Between Portland's home form and D.C. United's injury concerns, this looked like it would be another match where John Spencer's club built on their momentum and continued to push towards a playoff place. The game became anything but that for the Portland Timbers, as they fell to DC 3-2 after an exciting second half.
The first half was rather uneventful, with DC scoring one goal to take a 1-0 lead into halftime. The goal was scored by third overall draft pick Perry Kitchen, who has enjoyed a solid start to his MLS career. The visitors had the better of the chances in the first half, forcing Troy Perkins into some action, but it was a relatively uneventful period, at least compared to many of this week's other matches.
Portland found their equalizer in bizarre fashion in the 67th minute, about three minutes after being granted a penalty kick. Throughout the sequence, the behavior of the D.C. United players was absolutely childish and embarrassing. First, Dejan Jakovic hauled down Kenny Cooper, for which the penalty was given. On Cooper's first two penalty attempts, Bill Hamid came off of his line early and the linesman called for a re-take of the penalty. On all three calls, DC harassed the officials, despite the fact that all three calls were absolutely correct. Jack Jewsbury stepped up to take the third attempt and buried it, leveling the game at 1-1.
The Black and Red reclaimed the lead in the 75th minute in the same manner that Portland equalized, as Chris Pontius converted a penalty kick. It was given for a Diego Chara handball, and once again, the referee got the decision correct.
While Portland were pushing bodies forward for an equalizer late in the game, they got caught out by DC, who scored the clinching goal and what would eventually be the game winner in the 85th minute. On a long ball forward, substitute Santino Quaranta hit a flicked header forward for Josh Wolff to run onto, catching the Portland back line napping. Wolff ran forward and finished past Perkins, giving his team a 3-1 lead.
Portland scored a consolation goal in the 87th minute to bring the score line back to 3-2, thanks to a Jorge Perlaza header on a Jeremy Hall throw-in, but consolation is all it would be. Perlaza almost found an equalizer in stoppage time, but his powerful left-footed effort went wide of Hamid's left post by less than a foot.
This loss was Portland's first at home, and they will be disappointed by their performance. With Dax McCarty out of DC's lineup and Jack Jewsbury in great form, they should have been able to control the center of midfield, but a great performance by Clyde Simms nullified that supposed advantage. Despite their injury issues, DC has not lost in their last four games.