Healthy Timbers concede late header, draw 1-1 at LA Galaxy

by Charlie Folkestad
Sebastian Blanco heads a ball against the Galaxy.

The Portland Timbers seemed well on their way to their first road win in over two months. Instead, they played to their fourth 1-1 draw of the 2022 season.

Yimmi Chara’s 38th-minute goal gave the visitors a 1-0 lead before Dejan Joveljic finished a header in the 88th minute to square the score.

The Galaxy threw plenty of chances toward Aljaz Ivacic’s goal all game. The Slovenian goalkeeper made four saves, including two spectacular ones in the first half, but it still seemed like Portland’s game as the clock wound down.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez missed a golden opportunity at the back post off a flicked corner in the 67th minute, and it seemed Portland would see things out for a crucial three points on the road.

Instead of finding an insurance goal, the Timbers put things into cruise control. They expected the inevitability of three points, rather than taking them.

Larrys Mabiala switched off for half a second, allowing Joveljic to beat him to the near-post header.

The Timbers came back from a three week international break with healthier legs. Diego Gutierrez was the only player on this week’s injury report, which has typically included a laundry list of players this season.

Felipe Mora made his season debut in the 85th minute, while Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Claudio Bravo made their first starts since May 7th and April 23rd, respectively.

Portland had their chance to build a ton of momentum in their first game at near-full-strength since last year’s MLS Cup. Now they must scrap their way out of the Western Conference basement to make a signature playoff run.

The Timbers host Colorado next Saturday, June 25th at 7:30 p.m. and Houston next Wednesday, June 29th at 7:30 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast on Fox 12 Plus / ESPN+.

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