Down 1-0 and in danger of heading into Leg 2 on Wednesday at Estadio Azteca trailing, the Timbers were given a penalty kick on the last sequence of the match by referee Mario Escobar, snatching back a goal in shocking fashion after Roger Martinez had put Club America in front with a penalty kick of his own in the first half.
Club America struck for that opener just on the stroke of halftime when Portland's Claudio Bravo was called for a foul in his own box on Richard Sanchez. Martinez sent Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella the wrong way and coolly slotted home the look from the spot, giving the visitors the 1-0 lead and an all-important away goal.
The Timbers pressed for an equalizer throughout the second half, and got close to finding one from the run of play a few times, but none of their efforts quite materialized.
Dairon Asprilla nearly found a moment of magic in the 50th minute, splitting two defenders on the left side of the Club America box and sending in an effort from a seemingly impossible angle that may have been intended as a cross. Either way, the ball nearly went in at the far post for what would have been a spectacular goal, but it wound up glancing off the crossbar.
Yimmi Chara and Larrys Mabiala also had good looks at a leveler for Portland before the hour mark, but Chara saw an attempted volley trickle just wide, while Mabiala missed the target with a clean header off a corner kick.
Portland looked headed for what would have been a frustrating 1-0 result, but were awarded a penalty kick in the waning moments of second-half stoppage time after Club America were called for a handball following a massive, chaotic scramble in the box. That allowed Mora to head to the spot and convert past Club America goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa, ensuring the Timbers will head into Wednesday's second leg on level terms.
- THE BIG PICTURE: This one looked for all the world like Portland would leave the match with their CCL dreams hanging by a thread, but the dramatic equalizer gives Gio Saverese and Co. a lifeline. Make no mistake, they still have a tall order in front of them with Club America hosting the second leg with an away goal in hand, but the Timbers gave themselves a fighting chance to win this series with the late theatrics, which is all you can ask.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: The whole sequence that ended with the final penalty kick was CCL chaos at its finest, and it gave the Timbers the goal they needed to go into the second leg with some positive momentum.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It's one thing to win a penalty, it's another to make sure you convert the finish. Mora gets the honors for keeping his cool and coming through in the most pressure-filled of moments.
- POR: Saturday, May 1 at FC Dallas | 8 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)