PORTLAND, Ore. — Lawrence Olum scored the game’s only goal and Eric Kronberg earned his league-leading seventh shutout as Sporting Kansas City beat the Portland Timbers 1-0.
The win moved Sporting KC (7-5-4) into a tie for first place with DC United in the Eastern Conference. Portland (4-5-8) remained in sixth place in the Western Conference.
In a scrappy match, with more flying kick attempts and fouls than quality goal-scoring chances, Sporting KC scored in the 24th minute. A long throw-in by Seth Sinovic into the Portland penalty area was knocked by Kevin Ellis into the path of Olum. The Kenyan put a right-footed shot past goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts for his first goal of the season. The assists were the first for both Ellis and Sinovic.
Portland dominated possession for most of the game, and especially in the second half, but was unable to convert it into much of an attacking threat. Kronberg needed to make three saves to earn the shutout.
It was the first league match for the teams in two weeks, thanks to a break in the MLS schedule during the group stages of the World Cup. But it was the second meeting between the teams in the last four days.
In a U.S. Open Cup match in Kansas City on Wednesday, Portland won 3-1, sending the Timbers into the quarterfinals and a showdown with bitter rival Seattle.