Timbers concede late again, draw Seattle 1-1

by Kevin Nesgoda

The Portland Timbers conceded a 93rd minute equalizer to the Seattle Sounders, dropping stoppage time points for the second straight match. Portland’s Andres Flores scored his first goal in over a year in the 10th minute before Will Bruin did the same deep into stoppage time.

Lineups

Ruidiaz remained out after a positive COVID test last week, but it was still a strong lineup from the home team.

Ebobisse is out of the squad after

Match Recap

Flores had a poor pass to start the match and Seattle were on the front foot.

Portland settled into the match about five minutes in, getting some possession strung together and threatening a cross or two.

Portland’s efforts were rewarded in the 11th minute as Villafana’s cross found Mora in the box. Mora took up two defenders, which freed up space for a Yimmi Chará strike at goal. It was saved right to Flores, who pounded the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

As we were frequently reminded, Portland leads the league in points conceded after scoring the first goal.

The Timbers picked up right where they left off after the goal, playing careful with possession and nearly capitalizing with a fantastic combo on the left side between Jorge, Yimmi, and Valeri—the latter scuffing the crowded attempt wide.

Seattle had a few quick flights forward, but Portland’s defense quelled each chance before they could develop. Overall, though, Portland were owning the midfield battle.

Referee Ismail Elfath backed into a closing Jordy Delem in the 25th minute, who got the wind knocked out of him and spent significant time down on the pitch. Delem had to be substituted for Alex Roldan, making it two sets of brothers on the pitch.

The match eased into a sense of bitterness on both sides—notably Seattle, who were already feeling shorted by Elfath’s inadvertent injuring of Delem and were reeling from small, careless fouls by the Timbers.

Neither team found a groove for the remainder of the first half.

Williamson earned a free kick on the edge of the 18 by flicking the ball up to Joao Paulo’s hand in the 47th minute, but Valeri’s free kick was straight into the wall.

There were shouts for a Portland penalty in the 54th minute as Valeri went down in front of Joao Paulo, but it was Seattle with the chance on the other end, needing a Farfan clearance at the back post off a dangerous cross from the left.

Clearing the ball became a big concern for the Timbers, but luckily Nouhou was taking the final shot in the 57th minute.

Diego Chará went down holding his head in the 59th minute after knocking heads with Leerdam. He got checked out and returned to action after a minute.

In the 64’, Farfan conceded the softest of free kicks on the right side before Lodeiro’s free kick smacked the one-man wall of Flores right in the face. He spent a considerable amount of time getting checked on before returning to play.

Leerdam got Seattle’s best chance of the match so far, but his header from inside the six was over the bar.

The Timbers were forcing every pass into the final third, but nothing was connecting and the Sounders were playing through Portland’s mid after breaking the light press. Flores came off for Bonilla in the 73rd minute in what seemed like a defensive sub, but Bonilla’s first contribution was a corner-winning combination.

A failed control by DC21 at half-field saw Morris and Lodiero racing Farfan and Bonilla, but Morris’ angle was cut off and Lodeiro’s shot drifted over the bar.

Seattle really started putting pressure on the Timbers, who did what they do best defensively—shrinking the space and trying to counter.

Niezgoda replaced Mora in the 83’, just before Shane O’Neill sent a wide open header wide of the far post.

The match morphed from “Seattle having most of the ball and attacking with it” to “Seattle having all of the ball and attacking ferociously.”

Williamson nearly dribbled through Seattle’s entire team, but Nouhou was there to clean up the mess when he got to the 18.

Portland were taking full advantage of their drawn fouls, and the seven minutes of stoppage time reflected that and the injuries.

Seattle’s eighth corner of the night was flicked on and put home by Will Bruin at the back post in the 93rd minute. It’s his first goal in over a year.

Seattle crossed the ball thousands of times in the final few minutes, but Portland managed to uphold the draw without clearing the ball.

As the final whistle blew, Portland once again left the field with a point that felt like a loss.

[cover via @SomosTimbers]

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