Action from the CONCACAF Champions League match between Alpha United and Portland Timbers at Guyana National Stadium on August 19, 2014. (Photo: Adrian Narine)
PROVIDENCE, Guyana -- The Portland Timbers made their first appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League a memorable one, recording a 4-1 Group 5 victory over Alpha United FC at Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday.
Steve Zakuani, Maxmiliano Urruti, Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell scored for the United States side (1-0-0, three points), while Barbosa Murilo tallied for the Hammer (0-0-2, 0 points).
After traveling 2,500 miles from Portland to Boston and another 2,500 miles to the north coast of South America, the Timbers were scheduled to take a 4,700 trip home to the Pacific Northwest, the longest trip for a single game in CCL history.
Portland head coach Caleb Porter made a bold decision, using a lineup that did not include any of the starters from Saturday's 1-1 draw at the New England Revolution.
Zakuani, who has not scored in 16 Major League Soccer games this season, found the back of the net in the 18th minute. He raced down the left side past his marker, creating a 1 v 1 situation with goalkeeper Ronson Williams, before depositing a 10-yard shot into the lower right corner for a 1-0 lead.
In the 34th minute, Urruti caught Alpha United ball watching to double the advantage. The 23-year-old Argentinean maneuvered his way into the area and tucked an eight-yard effort to the near right post for a 2-0 lead in the 34th m
The host cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 44th minute, when defender Barbosa Murilo struck a 30-yard free kick that hit the crossbar and bounded into the net past goalkeeper Andrew Weber.
Revived by the goal, Alpha United came out with a passion after the break, forcing Weber to make an immediate fingertip save on a shot from distance.
Moments after Michael Nanchoff powered a long attempt off the crossbar, Adi, a second-half sub, restored the visitors' two-goal lead, slotting home from inside the area into the left corner in the 66th minute.
Powell, a right back, tallied the final goal with seven minutes remaining in normal time, netting from close range.
In the next Group 5 match, Alpha United will visit Olimpia on August 28.
To view the Alpha United FC vs Portland Timbers Highlights, click here.