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Sporting holds off Portland to extend unbeaten run to eight

Jul 3, 2011 - 5:09 AM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The Portland Timbers' struggles continued on Saturday at Jeld-Wen Field as the club suffered its fifth defeat in the last six games, dropping a 2-1 decision to Sporting Kansas City.

Goals from C.J. Sapong and Aurelien Collin put Portland in a two-goal hole after 20 minutes, and although Darlington Nagbe scored a brilliant goal just before halftime, the hosts were unable to find the equalizer, leaving Portland with just one point from its last six games.

Sporting entered the match on a seven-game unbeaten run and started fast with Sapong receiving the ball 25 yards from goal, turning past a defender and rolling it into the lower-left corner from the edge of the penalty area.

Sapong had a hand in the second goal as well, which arrived five minutes later when he sent a flicked header to the back post from a corner kick that Collin turned inside the right post with his own head.

But just when it looked like Portland was heading into the locker room two goals down, Nagbe popped up with a fantastic strike as he collected a clearance near the top of the area, juggled it to himself twice, and then smashed a volley into the upper-left corner of the net.

The Timbers seemed to be inspired by the play as the second half began with Portland creating a number of long-range efforts that went close to Jimmy Nielsen's goal.

However, the hosts were still searching for the equalizer in the 89th minute when captain Jack Jewsbury came within inches of leveling the contest with a long-range shot that whistled past the left post.

It would have been a satisfying goal for the former Kansas City player, but it pretty much sums up how things have gone lately for John Spencer's team.