Austin FC, the lowest scoring team in MLS, put aside its offensive inefficiencies with three goals in the first 29 minutes and rolled to an easy 3-1 win over the visiting Portland Timbers on Saturday in a Western Conference match.
If Austin (5-11-4, 19 points) could play the Timbers at home in every match, it might be in playoff position rather than at the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Austin routed Portland 4-1 on July 1 in the first meeting between the two teams this season.
The expansion team has 17 goals this season in its 20 matches, with seven of those coming in the two games against the Timbers. Saturday's win allowed Austin to snap a three-match losing streak and improve to 2-5 over its past seven outings.
Despite its goals on Saturday, Austin still has the least goals in the league.
Cecilio Dominguez got the home side on the board in the 11th minute when he converted a penalty kick after he was fouled in the box by Portland's Josecarlos Van Rankin.
It took just three minutes for Austin to strike again, this time on a header by Diego Fagundez during the run of play after a lengthy but precise pass from Nick Lima. Fagundez started the play in the defensive end and sprinted half the length of the pitch to run under Lima's dead-on assist and flick it past Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Just when it seemed things could not get worse for Portland, they did. Austin added to its lead in the 29th minute as Sebastian Driussi kicked home a pass from Fagundez after Jon Gallagher's shot from close range rebounded off a Timbers defender and right to Fagundez at the end line.
Portland (7-10-3, 24 points) was blown out for the second time in three games and is 1-2-2 in its five games in August. The Timbers have produced points in back-to-back games just twice this season.
The Timbers found the net in the 55th minute when Dairon Asprilla's right-footed shot from outside the box was ripped off Austin keeper Brad Stuver and into the net. The tally was assisted by Diego Chara.