PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Diego Chara scored in the opening minutes and the Portland Timbers boosted their playoff hopes with a 3-0 win over the New England Revolution Friday night.
Kenny Cooper and Darlington Nagbe added goals for the Timbers (10-12-6), who had their eighth shutout of the season.
Chara's goal came in the ninth minute when he kicked the ball past charging New England goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Cooper scored his fifth goal of the season off a cross from Mike Chabala in the 32nd minute.
Nagbe scored on a header off an assist from Kalif Alhasson in the 65th minute.
The Timbers were the more aggressive team from the beginning, with 13 shots in the first half to New England's seven.
In the second half, Portland showcased a fluid, well-balanced defense that held off any attacks.
The victory pushed the Timbers into an eighth-place tie with Houston and Philadelphia in the playoff race, though it could be temporary with the rest of the league's 18 teams in action on Saturday.
Portland is playing in its inaugural season in Major League Soccer.
The Timbers play San Jose at home Wednesday and then have four of their last five matches away from Jeld-Wen Field.
New England (5-12-12) has gone winless in eight of nine matches, with the only victory coming last Saturday against FC Dallas.
With just 27 points, the Revolution are tied with Chicago and Toronto FC at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The New England Revolution have acquired defender Benjamin Angoua on loan from EA Guingamp for the 2017 MLS season with the option to transfer permanently following the season. Angoua will be added to the Revolution roster upon the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
“With Benjamin’s experience, adding him to the Revolution was an important step for our club this offseason,” Revolution GM Michael Burns said. “We began this offseason with the goal of bringing in veteran players who are ready to contribute right away, so we are very pleased to have Benjamin with us as we head to preseason training in Arizona.”
Angoua, 30, has made a combined 309 appearances across all competitions in France, Hungary, and the Ivory Coast, recording five goals and two assists from the backline. He joins the Revolution after more than two seasons with EA Guingamp (2014-17) and previously played for FC Valenciennes (2010-14), both in France’s top-flight Ligue 1. An experienced defender, Angoua has registered 152 appearances, including 138 starts, in Ligue 1 competition since 2010.
The 6-foot, 160-pound Ivorian international also played with Budapest Honvéd (2006-10) in Hungary’s OTP Bank Liga, and Africa Sports (2004-06) in the Ivory Coast Ligue 1. Angoua has additional experience competing in the UEFA Europa League with both Guingamp and Budapest Honvéd.
At the international level, the Anyama native has recorded 17 caps and registered one goal for the Ivory Coast national team.