Soccer is back!
The Portland Timbers played for the first time since losing in the first round of the MLS Playoffs in November, drawing CD Marathòn 2-2- in Leg 1 of the CONCACAF Champions League - Round of 16.
This match was played in Honduras and Portland will host Leg 2 on Tuesday, April 13th at 5:00 p.m. PT in what will be the first game with fans at Providence Park in over a year.
The highlight was a stellar strike off a free kick from Diego Valeri from more than 30 yards from goal in the 59th minute.
It was originally El Maestro's 97th goal in a Timbers uniform across all competitions, but the stat keepers made it an own goal since the ball was kicked off the back of the goalkeeper.
Portland dominated the first 30 minutes of action getting multiple chances inside Marathòn's defensive 18-yard box, but failed to finish any of them until a goal from Felipe Mora in the 35th minute.
However, the Timbers would allow goals in the 39th and 68th minutes resulting in the draw.
Steve Clark also had an impressive save early in the second half.
Portland had a run in the 90th minute where two Timbers players were alone inside the 18, but Felipe Mora did not see them resulting in a turnvover. Moments later, Darion Asprilla skied a shot into the stands.
Importantly, while the series is tied on aggregate at two goals apiece, Portland scored two away goals and would advance to the quarterfinals with a 1-1 draw in the Rose City next week.
A 2-2 draw will go to extra time. A 3-3 draw or CD Marathòn win will result in the Timbers being eliminated.
Portland qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League after winning the MLS is Back Tournament last summer. No MLS team has ever won the event.