Match Recap

RECAP | Santos, Vazquez goals help cut down Timbers at sold-out TQL Stadium Saturday night


FC Cincinnati stayed perfect at home in 2023 with a 2-1 victory over the Portland Timbers in front of a sold-out TQL Stadium. It’s the second consecutive home sellout and the fourth of five home matches in 2023.

With the win, FC Cincinnati remained level with New England Revolution on 20 points on top of the Eastern Conference.

The Orange and Blue looked to strike quickly as Luciano Acosta, who returned from a one-game absence due to injury, created a chance for FC Cincinnati in the 2nd minute of play. Acosta quickly combined with Brandon Vazquez in the Portland box, but his attempt was blocked and cleared.

Two minutes later, Sergio Santos nearly put the hosts ahead, capitalizing on a Portland Timbers turnover in their defensive third. Ray Gaddis stepped in front of an errant ball and picked out Santos who sized up Timbers goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic but his attempt found its way into the hand of Ivacic.

FC Cincinnati regained control of the match 20 minutes in and found the opening goal of the match in the 34th minute. Santos scored his fourth goal of the season after getting his head on the end of an inch-perfect Álvaro Barreal cross. Barreal played a quick one-two with Acosta following a throw and snapped in a beautiful ball with enough power and pace for Santos to flick in.

Barreal’s assist marks his fourth of the season. FC Cincinnati ended the first half registering 10 shots to Portland’s eight and held the lion’s share of possession at 55.2 percent.

The second half began much like the first, with the Orange and Blue out on the front foot. Barreal nearly added a goal to his first half assist in the 56th minute after finding himself alone on the back post. Gaddis played provider but Barreal’s shot went slicing into the side netting.

Vazquez scored his second goal of the season two minutes later from a similar attacking position. Barreal once again threatened at the back post, but this time controlled a pass to Santos who looked to grab number two on the night. The Brazilian fanned on his attempt but the loose ball found the feet of the always dangerous Vazquez, who smashed it past Ivacic from six yards out.

A near instant response from the Timbers cast doubt on FC Cincinnati’s advantage as Dairon Asprilla grabbed on back in the 60th minute. Roman Celentano, who made three saves on the night, nearly pushed the crucial ball across the box out of danger but was unable to do so.

FC Cincinnati’s backline, which thwarted the Timbers down the stretch, proved to be a strength once again. Cincinnati have allowed ten goals this year and Portland’s goal Saturday night was the first to be conceded TQL Stadium this season.

Next up for the Orange and Blue is a midweek U.S. Open Cup match against Louisville City FC on April 26 at 7 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match are now available at


FC Cincinnati vs. Portland Timbers
April 22, 2023
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Venue: TQL Stadium
Attendance: 25,513
Kickoff: 7:39 p.m. ET
Weather: 52 degrees, clear

POR: 0-1-1

CIN – Sergio Santos (Álvaro Barreal) 34’, Brandon Vazquez (Sergio Santos) 58’
POR – Dairon Asprilla 60’


• The Orange and Blue are now 2-0-0 against the Portland Timbers.

• FC Cincinnati are 6-0-1 when scoring first.

• The Orange and Blue are now 5-0-0 at TQL Stadium this year. Cincinnati are the only team in MLS with an unblemished home record in 2023.

• In 29 matches against Western Conference competition, the Orange and Blue are 8-16-5 and 6-7-3 at home. FC Cincinnati are unbeaten against Western Conference teams at home this season.

• Portland’s lone goal is just the second goal conceded at TQL Stadium this season.

• Saturday’s sellout is the second straight sellout and the fourth match in which the Orange and Blue played in front of a sold-out crowd at TQL Stadium.

R. Celentano, N. Hagglund, Y. Mosquera, M. Miazga, R. Gaddis (A. Powell 77’), A. Barreal, O. Nwobodo (M. Angulo 89’), L. Acosta [C] (M. Pinto 89’), J. Moreno, S. Santos (D. Badji 64’), B. Vazquez

Substitutes not used: A. Kann, J. Akpunonu, A. Ordoñez, I. Murphy, I. Foster

Head Coach: Pat Noonan

POR: A. Ivacic, J. Rasmussen (E. Miller 62’)­­, Z. McGraw, J. Mosquera, L. Mabiala, Evander, D. Chará, D. Ayala (C. Paredes 62’), D. Asprilla (J. Niezgoda 85’), F. Boli (N. Fogaca 73’), S. Moreno

Substitutes not used: H. Sulte, D. Gutierrez, T. Ikoba, P. Bonilla, M. Loria

Head Coach: Carlos Llamosa


Shots: 12 / 13
Shots on Goal: 6 / 4
Saves: 3 / 4
Corner Kicks: 4 / 8
Fouls: 11 / 12
Offside: 0 / 0
Possession: 45.7 / 54.3

POR – L. Mabiala 20’ (Caution)
POR – D. Asprilla 30’ (Caution)
CIN – O. Nwobodo 31’ (Caution)
POR – D. Chará 72’ (Caution)
CIN – Y. Mosquera 84’ (Caution)
POR – Z. McGraw 90’+1 (Caution)
CIN – M . Angulo 90’+7 (Caution)


Referee: Allen Chapman
Ast. Referees: Nick Uranga, Meghan Mullen
Fourth Official: Corey Parker
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr.
AVAR: Mike Kampmeinert