PORTLAND, Ore. – Chivas USA kept the Portland Timbers’ nightmare start to the 2014 season going strong with a late goal by forward Erick Torres that led to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at Providence Park.
Torres struck in the 79th minute to negate a seventh-minute goal by Timbers captain Will Johnson, spoiling what would have been Portland’s first win in their sixth game of their defense of the Western Conference regular season title.
Chivas USA, meanwhile, pick up a point on the road for the second time in their last three games following their 1-1 draw against Supporters’ Shield holders New York Red Bulls on March 30.
Mamadou Danso, replacing newly acquired Argentine Norberto Paparatto at center back, and young right back Alvas Powell, starting his second consecutive game in place of Jack Jewsbury, didn’t solve Portland’s backline woes as Chivas USA outshot Portland 13-8 and out-possessed the high-pressure Timbers for long stretches of the match.
Torres’ fifth goal of the season came following a long pass down the left wing to Leandro Barrera, who crossed to an open Torres for the tap-in.
Portland frantically pressed forward for the game winner, and found an opportune chance on a Johnson free kick from just outside the area. But Johnson’s second of the night wasn’t to be as he slammed his attempt just wide.
There were only a handful of chances for either team in the early action. But the Timbers made their first attempt on goal count with some clever action at the top of the penalty area by Maximiliano Urruti and Darlington Nagbe in the eighth minute.
Urruti picked up a loose ball on a failed Chivas USA clearance and threaded a pass to Nagbe, who also sliced a pass through two defenders to Johnson in open space. Johnson slotted a rolling shot past Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for his first goal of the season.
Portland nearly got on the board again in the 25th and 35th minutes, but chances by Urruti and Johnson could not capitalize on either attempt.
Chivas USA began to find some chances to go along with their possession in the second half. Thomas McNamara, who had to be stretchered off in the 65th minute with an apparent knee injury, set up shots for Torres in the 50th minute and Carlos Alvarez in the 61st minute. But both their looks were off the mark.
Portland next travels to Real Salt Lake for a Saturday rematch of last year’s Western Conference championship. Chivas USA return home to play host to the Seattle Sounders on the same day.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Will Johnson||The Timbers captain came to play, netting the opening goal in the seventh minute. He was great offensively all night and contributed defensively, too.|
|2||Carlos Bocanegra||Chivas' captain was no slouch himself. The defender stood his ground as the Timbers early onslaught came his way. His play kept Portland at bay.|
|3||Leandro Barrera||Made the pass to Torres to equalize the match late. He was solid down the flank all night long.|