LAFC 2, Portland Timbers 2 | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap

Jeremy Ebobisse scored an equalizer in the 81st minute, salvaging a 2-2 draw with LAFC and earning the Portland Timbers the first-place spot in Group F of the MLS is Back Tournament on Thursday.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda, making his first start for Portland, scored the opener, while Bradley Wright-Phillips and Mark-Anthony Kaye scored four minutes apart in the first half for LAFC.

Portland struck first shortly after kickoff, as Sebastian Blanco played Niezgoda into acres of space between two LAFC defenders, allowing the Polish DP to slot home an easy finish to open his Timbers account. But LAFC would strike twice before the end of the first half, first off a scorcher from Wright-Phillips, as the Englishman cashed home a perfectly placed distance finish past Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark in the 36th minute. Kaye then added the go-ahead goal in the 40th, peeling off his defender on a corner kick and nodding home a wide-open header at the far post.

Ebobisse would pull Portland level late, though, after LAFC couldn't get a corner kick from Diego Valeri cleared and allowed the 23-year-old forward a look on goal, which he headed into the net, allowing the Timbers a share of the points in the tournament's group-stage finale.


  • 7' - POR - Jaroslaw Niezgoda | WATCH
  • 36' - LAFC - Bradley Wright-Phillips | WATCH
  • 40' - LAFC - Mark-Anthony Kaye | WATCH
  • 81' - POR - Jeremy Ebobisse | WATCH

Man of the Match presented by Heineken

Ebobisse may not have the flashy name value of some of the league's other top forwards, but the guy just keeps on scoring. Thursday's tally was his third in three games to start the tournament.

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: Both these teams were through anyway, but credit to Portland for finishing first in a group that many picked LAFC to win. The Timbers have shown well in the tournament so far and displayed a lot of moxie in this contest that should serve them well going forward. It wasn't a vintage LAFC performance, but they've still scored 11 goals in three games in group play without superstar Carlos Vela. That speaks volumes about the quality and depth of their roster.

  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: LAFC looked headed for the first-place finish late in the match, but Ebobisse had other ideas.

    : There were questions as to how much he had left in the tank coming into this season at age 35, but there probably shouldn't be anymore. Wright-Phillips' LAFC tenure is off to a better start than their front office probably even imagined when they signed him.

    Next Up

    • LAFC: Monday, July 27 vs. Seattle Sounders (11 pm ET | FS1, TUDN in US; TSN in Canada)
    • POR: Tuesday, July 28 vs. FC Cincinnati (10:30 pm ET | ESPN, ESPN Deportes in US | TSN in Canada)