Portland Timbers 1, Norwich City 0

Ricky van Wolfswinkel made his Norwich City debut in the 1-0 friendly defeat to San Jose. Picture: Lyndsay Radnedge/Center...

Ricky van Wolfswinkel made his Norwich City debut in the 1-0 friendly defeat to San Jose. Picture: Lyndsay Radnedge/Center Line Soccer. - Credit: Archant

Norwich slipped to a second consecutive reverse against MLS opposition in the early hours of Thursday morning when they lost 1-0 to Portland in their USA swansong.

The Canaries' defensive frailties were again evident in a repeat of the weekend's 1-0 defeat at San Jose with the excellent Jose Valencia pouncing on Ryan Bennett's intended back pass to slot underneath Carlo Nash.

City had been the dominant force before the interval with Nathan Redmond and Robert Snodgrass influential on both flanks but Chris Hughton's men were unable to respond to the early second half setback. Hughton's starting line up was packed with latent attacking potential as Redmond started his third pre-season game of the USA tour. Wes Hoolahan was paired in a support role to Ricky van Wolfswinkel for the first time since the Dutchman's arrival with Elliott Bennett given licence to raid from an attacking right back role and Jonny Howson breaking forward from central midfield areas with David Fox offering a degree of protection.

Snodgrass unleashed the first shot in anger with a dipping 25 yard free kick that Milos Kocic watched fly over the bar but City escaped when Kalif Alhassan miscued after Steven Whittaker failed to cut out Valencia's cross from the right.

Nash then went full length to claw out Valencia's rising hit from 20 yards with City struggling to subdue the Timbers' dangerman. Redmond then cut inside Alvas Powell but a drilled right footer failed to trouble Kocic as game continued to ebb and flow in the early exchanges. Powell got his retribution in during the following exchange with a mistimed sliding challenge on Redmond earning the first caution. Powell could count himself fortunate to remain on the pitch despite the relaxed nature of the proceedings when another lunging attempt to halt Redmond earned a major rebuke from the overworked official.

The fractious undercurrent perhaps explained Redmond's barge on Ben Zemanski after being crowded out close to the Timbers' byline but again referee Marrakchi was in lenient mood. Russell Martin's goalscoring instincts almost broke the deadlock in the 31st minute when his glancing header from Snodgrass' corner dropped a yard wide of Kocic's far post.

Snodgrass' movement just in behind van Wolfswinkel allowed City to dictate the attacking play with Redmond a willing participant – the teenager testing Kocic again from range in the closing minutes before the interval.

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Ryan Bennett emulated centre back partner Martin when he rose powerfully but headed another probing Snodgrass corner just over from eight yards out. Kocic parried Redmond's rasping piledriver onto his cross bar before van Wolfswinkel's attempted headed follow up dropped fortuitously at the keeper's feet.

Valencia repeated his high octane start to the first period when he drifted past Ryan Bennett and unleashed a right-footer from 25 yards that cannoned back into play off Nash's left-hand upright.

City's club-record signing was invited to strike from just inside the area but the Dutchman choked a left footer well wide. The Canaries slipped behind in the 53rd minute and there was more than an echo of their concession against San Jose. Ryan Bennett's intended square pass for Martin was intercepted by Alhassan who calmly squared for Valencia to roll underneath Nash.

David Fox's teasing free kick drifted across the Timbers' six yard box after Redmond's trickery earned a set piece chance with City looking to pick up the pace again after their setback. Hughton introduced a trio of substitutes for the final quarter with van Wolfswinkel and Hoolahan withdrawn at the point of the visitors' attack.

Jacob Butterfield was inches from announcing his arrival in style when he cut inside only for his low strike to be clawed out by Jake Gleeson. Redmond was then denied again from range by Gleeson in the final throes with City only sporadically threatening to force an equaliser.

• Portland: Kocic (Gleeson 45), Powell, McKenzie, Danso (Jean-Baptiste 75), Miller, W Johnson (Evans 45), Alhassan, Zemanski (Jewsbury 63), R Johnson (Zizzo 45), Valencia (Harrington 70), Wallace (Rincon 45). Subs (all used).

• Bookings: Powell (foul on Redmond, 17); Zemanski (foul on Hoolahan, 28); Danso (foul on E Bennett, 58);

Goal: Valencia (53),

• Norwich City: Nash, E Bennett, R Bennett, Martin, Whittaker (Ayala 70), Snodgrass (Josh Murphy 76), Howson, Fox, Redmond, Hoolahan (Butterfield 70), van Wolfswinkel (Becchio 70). Subs (not used): Ruddy, Bunn, Gafaiti.

• Booking: Ryan Bennett (foul on Zizzo, 90)

• Referee: Younes Marrakchi

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