Thiago Almada had two goals and two assists as host Atlanta United FC defeated the injury-riddled Portland Timbers 5-1 Saturday night.
Caleb Wiley added a goal and an assist, and Georgios Giakoumakis and Luiz Araujo also scored for Atlanta (3-0-1, 10 points), which is off to the best start in franchise history.
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Tega Ikoba scored for the Timbers (1-3-0, 3 points), who suffered their third consecutive defeat. Portland was without eight players because of injuries.
Wiley opened the scoring on the counterattack in the 25th minute.
Following a Portland corner kick, Atlanta quickly cleared the ball to midfield, where two Timbers defenders ran into each other, allowing the ball to fall to Almada. He chipped a pass to Wiley to start a breakaway and the 18-year-old dribbled into the penalty area before putting a left-footed shot past hard-charging Portland goalie Aljaz Ivacic and into the lower right corner of the net.
Giakoumakis, making his first MLS start, nearly doubled the lead in the 29th minute but his 10-yard shot was smothered by Ivacic at the right post.
Almada made it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time, banking a free kick from 30 yards high off the right post and into the net.
Giakoumakis had a 48th-minute tally called back because he was offside. He got his first goal in the 59th as Wiley’s cross from the left wing found the forward alone about 10 yards out from the right post and he put a header into the near upper corner.
Araujo took a long lead pass from Almada, dribbled into the penalty area and put a 15-yard shot into the lower right corner of the net in the 75th minute.
Portland got its lone goal in the 83rd minute on Ikoba’s header from the top of the 6-yard box off a cross from Diego Gutierrez.
Almada capped the scoring in the 86th minute, taking a pass from Derrick Etienne Jr. at the top of the penalty area, spinning and putting a 15-yard shot into the lower right corner.
The Timbers appeared to take the lead in the 2nd minute as Eryk Williamson launched a 25-yard shot just inside the right post. But a video review determined Jaroslaw Niezgoda was offside.