29 July 2020
In-form Portland Timbers will meet FC Cinncinati at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in the MLS play-offs round of 16 this midweek.
Winners of Group F (W2, D1), Portland take on a side they’ve lost 3-0 to in their only previous competitive H2H. Notably, all three of their Group F matches have seen over 2.5 goals and both teams hit the net, which has, in fact, been the case in 13 of their last 14 outings, friendlies included. Indeed, the ‘Timbers’ have been an exciting team to watch this calendar year. All but two of their ten matches since the turn of 2020 have featured goals in both halves, with quick-fire Portland finding the opening goal on nine of those occasions. But, keeping a clean sheet will be a daunting prospect for Portland, who have conceded at least once ten times in the last 12 matches when registered as match hosts.
On the other hand, after a dismal 4-0 loss to Columbus Crew in their Group E curtain-raiser, the visitors have significantly improved their game, winning the next two matches ‘to nil.’ Curiously, it’s been ‘all or nothing’ for Cinncinati when it comes to their competitive fixtures this calendar year (W2, L3), with three of those results (win/loss) producing a full-time margin of a single goal. In turn, six of their seven trips, since the calendar year flipped, have ended separating the sides by under 1.5 goals (W3, D1, L4), friendlies included. While all of their wins during that seven-game sequence yielded the identical 1-0 scoreline, all of the remaining four matches have witnessed over 2.5 goals and both teams on the scoresheet.
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