Timbers

Portland Timbers stoppage time blunder results in tie vs. LAFC

Timbers

Portland (9-5-4) found itself just minutes away from taking sole possession of first place in the Western Conference but that's as close as they got.

A Christian Torres goal in the 3rd minute of stoppage time equalized LAFC 1-1 just before the final whistle, stealing two points away from Portland. The 16-year old's equalizer was his first MLS goal, which made him the fifth youngest goal scorer in league history. 

The Timbers have now conceded 11 goals in the final 15 minutes of a game, the most in MLS. 

"To leave this game with only one point is very disappointing because I think the players deserved a lot more because of the way we played," said head coach Giovanni Savarese. "The opportunities we created, the chances that we had, the way we played, the way we moved the ball, how smart the guys were."

However, Seattle (9-4-4) drew San Jose 0-0 so the two teams remain tied atop the Western Conference with 31 points each, but Seattle has played one less game. 

Following a back-and-forth first half which saw the Timbers being the aggressor, Portland took the lead in the 47th minute with a Jeremy Ebobisse strike from the top of the box. Yimmi Charà and Felipe Mora received assists for the goal.

It was Ebobisse's fourth career goal againt LAFC, the second most of any player in MLS history trailing only Zlatan Ibrahimovic (8). 

Ebobisse also made his 75th consecutive appearance across all competitions, currently the longest active streak in the league.

 

While the first half saw no scoring take place, multiple yellow cards were handed out against the Timbers which handicapped how aggressive the team could play for the remainder of the match. Diego Charà and Eryk Williamson each received a yellow before hafltime. 

"Our midfielders had to be extra cautious to make sure that they didn’t arrive to a tackle at the wrong time," explained Savarese. "When some moments they were going to try to get there and if they were one second late, they couldn’t go for the ball because you have a yellow card from the start of the match, especially with two defensive [midfielders], you start under difficult conditions and the situations in regards to that was a little bit unbalanced.”

Next, Portland will have a chance to gain sole possession of first place in the Western Conference when they travel north to CenturyLink Field to play Seattle on Thursday, October 22nd at 7:30 p.m. PT.