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Expansion FC Cincinnati gets first win, beating Timbers 3-0

March 18, 2019
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FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz (15) celebrates his goal with defender Kendall Waston during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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FC Cincinnati midfielder Allan Cruz (15) celebrates his goal with defender Kendall Waston during the second half of an MLS soccer match against the Portland Timbers, Sunday, March 17, 2019, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

CINCINNATI (AP) — Allan Cruz and Mathieu Deplagne scored two minutes apart in the second half and expansion FC Cincinnati won for the first time, topping the 10-man Portland Timbers 3-0 on Sunday in its home debut.

Kendall Waston scored FC Cincy’s first home goal in the MLS in the 15th minute by heading home Leonardo Bertone’s free kick in front of a sold-out crowd of 32,250 at Nippert Stadium, including MLS Commissioner Don Garber.

Cruz scored on a back-heel shot in the 61st, settling a deflected shot and rolling it inside the far post. Two minutes later, Deplagne finished off a busy sequence in the box with a redirection.

MLS expansion teams are 9-6-2 in their opening home matches.

FC Cincy goalkeeper Spencer Richey denied a point-blank shot by Dairon Asprilla at the back post on a corner kick. Portland defender Larrys Mabiala received yellow cards in first-half stoppage time and the 70th for the Timbers (0-2-1).

Cincinnati striker Fanendo Adi, who spent four-plus years in a star role with Portland before being traded in July, shared greetings with his old teammates in the lineup line before the game.

FC Cincy (1-1-1) got its first point last week, rallying for a 1-1 draw against defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United.

TORONTO FC 3, REVOLUTION 2

TORONTO (AP) — Jozy Altidore came off the bench to score the winner in the 80th minute and Toronto FC beat New England in its home opener.

Altidore tapped in Justin Morrow’s cross. Shut down late last season to have ankle surgery, the U.S. star came on in the 68th minute for his season debut.

Ayo Akinola, with his first MLS goal, and Jordan Hamilton, on his 23th birthday, also scored for Toronto (2-0-0). Carles Gil scored twice to pull the Revolution (0-2-1) even at 2.

UNION 1, ATLANTA UNITED 1, TIE

ATLANTA (AP) — Ezequiel Barco came on in the 67th minute and scored three minutes later to help Atlanta United tie Philadelphia.

Defending champion Atlanta (0-1-2) used a series of quick passes to move to ball from the left to the right side where Julian Gressel first-timed a high entry and Barco side-netted a header inside the far post.

Brenden Aaronson, an 18-year-old homegrown making his MLS debut, ripped a right-footer that, as it went through the legs of Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, deflected off the defender’s leg past goalkeeper Brad Guzan to give Philadelphia (0-3-0) the lead in the 47th minute.

LOS ANGELES FC, NEW YORK CITY FC 2, TIE

NEW YORK (AP) — Carlos Vela had two tying goals to help Los Angeles FC tie New York City FC 2-2 on Sunday.

Vela tied it at 1 in the 43rd minute for LAFC (2-0-1) by getting to Latif Blessing’s through ball and poking it into the back of the net. Vela leveled the match again in the 76th on a penalty kick.

Alexandru Mitrita opened the scoring in the 39th minute, running alone down the left side, cutting back two defenders in the box and finishing it into the upper corner. Alexander Ring gave NYCFC (0-0-3) a 2-1 lead in the 62nd minute.

SPORTING KANSAS CITY 1, RAPIDS 1

COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (AP) — Johnny Russell scored in the closing minutes to help Sporting Kansas City tie Colorado.

Gianluca Busio drew a foul against defender Axel Sjoberg a few yards outside the area and Russell put away the ensuing free kick, lifting it over the leaping 6-foot-7 Sjoberg.

Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia mishandled a pass from Seth Sinovic and Diego Rubio capitalized, charging in to finish into an empty net from the corner of the 6-yard box to open the scoring in the 54th.

Johan Blomberg was shown a yellow card in the 80th minute and again in the 87th, leaving Colorado (0-1-2) a man down. Sporting is 1-1-1.

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