The Portland Timbers wouldn’t be denied a consequence this significant late-season weekend. And they’ve their dazzling younger midfielder Santiago Moreno to thank for a road level.
Portland pulled off a 1-1 draw at the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon because of a rocket of a objective from Moreno in the closing seconds of stoppage time. The Timbers (11-8-13, 46 factors) climbed to fifth in the Western Conference with the draw, one level forward of Minnesota United and one level behind Nashville SC with two video games remaining on their schedule.
“We weren’t nearly as good in the first half in retaining the ball,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese mentioned. “We defended effectively. We did not permit them to create a lot in the first half. … Overall, we managed them very effectively defensively. The drawback is we did not hold the ball and we did not make good choices in switching the level of assault, getting in behind.”
Columbus dominated in the first half, out-possessing the Timbers 62-38 and outshooting them 9-3.
The assault for the Crew was usually ignited by Cucho Hernandez, who acquired began in the second minute with an open look that he sailed over the crossbar. In the tenth minute, Diego Chara fouled Hernandez, establishing a harmful set piece probability that finally got here up empty for Columbus.
A pair of yellow playing cards had been handed out in the tenth and twenty fifth minutes: the first to Columbus’ Aidan Morris for his problem on Diego Chara, and the second to Yimmi Chara for an incidental kick to the face of a Columbus defender.
In the twenty eighth minute, Hernandez acquired again to work and fired a lengthy shot that simply missed the body of the objective. One minute later, on the different finish, Dairon Asprilla missed a header on the feed from Sebastian Blanco — a uncommon offensive alternative for Portland squandered.
Columbus lastly broke by to attain in the thirty sixth minute. Kevin Molino made a run previous a frozen Asprilla, and with no backup behind Portland’s proper wingback on the day, Molino scored with ease to place the Crew up 1-0.
Asprilla ripped a lengthy shot off-target in the thirty ninth for Portland, and Yimmi Chara mishandled a good move in from Blanco in the forty fourth. Before heading into the halftime break having been largely dominated, Portland added one other yellow card as Bill Tuiloma picked one up.
“We knew it was going to be a exhausting match, and I believe we noticed it in the first minutes of the match,” Moreno mentioned in Spanish. “Thanks to the directions of our coach, we had been in a position to alter to what he noticed that perhaps we weren’t in a position to see on the subject after the first half. We had the willpower to get a level.”
Portland got here out in the second half with an elevated sense of urgency, placing itself in extra promising positions to attain. In the 58th minute, Moreno put a excellent ball throughout to a streaking Yimmi Chara, however the shot was effectively saved by Columbus keeper Eloy Room.
Room made one other spectacular save one minute later as Eryk Williamson’s nook kick met the head of Tuiloma, who was in a position to put it on course. Moreno had a pair of corners smacked away by Room in the 62nd minute as effectively.
Larrys Mabiala — filling in for the suspended Zac McGraw — picked up a yellow card in the 66th minute. Portland introduced on Jaroslaw Niezgoda for Blanco in the 68th minute, and Moreno picked up a yellow card of his personal in the 71st.
Hernandez had a pair of possibilities in the seventy fifth and 78th minutes, neither of which discovered the again of the web. In the 81st, Molino appeared to attain the second objective for Columbus, however he was simply a hair offsides.
Portland introduced on a trio of substitutes in the 82nd minute: new signing Juan Mosquera for Mabiala (Mosquera’s debut), Marvin Loria for Yimmi Chara, and Cristhian Paredes for Williamson. In the 88th minute, they introduced on Nathan Fogaça for Diego Chara, hoping so as to add much more attacking prowess.
The Timbers had their share of possibilities down the stretch, nevertheless it was Moreno’s curling magnificence from exterior the field in the ninety fifth minute — simply as the referee was about to blow his whistle and finish the match — that introduced the sport to a stunning 1- 1 closing rating line.
“It’s all the time pure happiness for me to attain a objective, much more so in these circumstances,” Moreno mentioned. “We had been working so exhausting throughout the sport to have the ability to rating. I all the time simply wish to assist my teammates and simply have enjoyable on the subject, and we had been in a position to do this.”
The Timbers have a while to breathe and soak in this pivotal consequence earlier than their subsequent contest, a house match towards LAFC on Oct. 2. Kickoff is scheduled for midday at Providence Park (TV on ABC).
— Ryan Clarke, email@example.com, Twitter: @RyanTClarke