Timbers play to 1-1 draw with Fire on late goal - NBC Sports

Timbers play to 1-1 draw with Fire on late goal
Portland Timbers' Darlington Nagbe (6) and Chicago Fire's Dominic Oduro go down hard during the first half of an MLS soccer game on Saturday, July 16, 2011, at Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Ill. (AP Photo/John Smierciak)
March 16, 2014, 5:26 pm

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Gaston Fernandez scored in the 79th minute to pull the Portland Timbers to a 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday.

It was the second game that the newly acquired Argentine forward scored a late equalizer. Fernandez's goal in stoppage time gave the Timbers a 1-1 tie in the opener against Philadelphia last weekend.

Jeff Larentowicz scored on a penalty kick in the 19th minute for the Fire, who shook up their starting lineup after a 3-2 loss to Chivas in their opener.

Portland dominated possession at 64 percent, but several good chances at goals just missed. Fire goalkeeper Sean Johnson was credited with six saves.

Chicago coach Frank Yallop shook things up by starting midfielder Benji Joya and forwards Harrison Shipp and Quincy Amarikwa. Shipp became the first Fire Homegrown Player to play in an MLS first-team match.

Forward Orr Barouch remains out of Chicago's lineup as he continues to recover from a broken foot suffered while playing in Israel.

For Portland, Futty Danso started in place of Pa Modou Kah, who is still nursing injuries from the opener.

Both teams had opportunities early.

Fire midfielder Alex got an open shot in the 9th minute, but goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts' tipped it wide with a diving save. Will Johnson's free kick for Portland in the 12th minute was low and well off.

The Fire got their first lead of the season when Amarikwa drew the foul in the penalty area and Larentowicz's penalty kick got past Ricketts in the 19th minute.

On a free kick in the 39th minute, Johnson's bicycle kick went high and wide and the Fire went into the break with a 1-0 lead.

The Timbers had what looked like a sure chance in the 56th minute, but Maximilliano Urruti slipped on his charge toward Sean Johnson in the Chicago goal.

The Timbers got a scare a minute later when Ricketts went down after getting bumped by Amarikwa. Even after he got up and returned to the goal, he appeared shaken up. Ricketts finished with three saves.

Fire reserve Patrick Nyarko was sent off after a pair of yellow cards in the space of 13 minutes late in the game.

Portland had won three previous meetings with the Fire, but last year the two teams played to a 2-all draw in Chicago. The Timbers were 2-0 against the Fire in Portland.

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