PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Bright Dike scored just before halftime and the Portland Timbers beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 Friday night to get consecutive wins for the first time this season.
Dike broke free, took a beautiful cross from Sal Zizzo and blasted the ball into the net in the 45th minute. Dike, making his third consecutive start after spending part of the season on loan to the Los Angeles Blues of USL Pro, celebrated his goal with handspring-flip combination.
“Once we got the goal, we played well enough the rest of the way to get the win,” Zizzo said.
The Timbers (7-13-6) moved out of the Western Conference basement with the win, moving one point ahead of Colorado for eighth place.
The Rapids (8-17-2) lost their fourth straight and set a franchise record with an eighth-straight road loss. Colorado is 1-9-1 since beating Portland 3-0 on June 30.
On Wednesday, Akron coach Caleb Porter was named Portland’s new head coach effective next season. General manager Gavin Wilkinson has been serving as interim coach since John Spencer was fired July 9.
Portland seems to be benefiting from the more free-flowing attack Wilkinson has instituted. Wilkinson earned his first win as coach last Saturday when the Timbers defeated Vancouver 2-1 to end a winless streak that had reached eight games.
Even more noteworthy was the emergence of a stout Timbers defense, which earned a shutout for the first time since a draw against Houston on May 15.
“To get a shutout is always a good feeling,” said Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, who joined the team in a trade Aug. 7. “It means you are doing something right.”
The Rapids had won all three previous meetings between the clubs, scoring seven goals and allowing only one. The two teams meet again Wednesday in Colorado in the second leg of the home-and-home series.
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