The Portland Timbers and New England Revolution went toe-to-toe in a 2-2 draw at Providence Park, closing Saturday night of the 2022 campaign’s opening weekend in thrilling fashion.

The visitors and reigning Supporters’ Shield winners twice went ahead, starting in the 41st minute when right back Brandon Bye powerfully headed home a corner kick from Carles Gil, the reigning Landon Donovan MLS MVP. Come the 63rd minute, midfielder Sebastian Lletget scored on his debut for New England, cushioning home a left-footed finish to the far post. 

But Portland, MLS Cup 2021 hosts back on their rain-soaked turf, responded in kind in the 60th minute when forward Dairon Asprilla calmly finished Santiago Moreno’s line-breaking feed. Then the spectacular arrived in the 78th minute through attacker Yimmi Chara, whose bicycle kick evaded goalkeeper Earl Edwards Jr. 

Revolution striker Adam Buksa came close to a 97th-minute winner, though a fingertip save from Timbers goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic preserved the deadlock. Portland also had a penalty-kick shout in the 51st minute when Lletget and Moreno collided, though referee Chris Penso didn't point to the spot.

Goals

  • 41' – NE – Brandon Bye | WATCH
  • 60' – POR – Dairon Asprilla | WATCH
  • 63' – NE – Sebastian Lletget | WATCH
  • 78' – POR – Yimmi Chara | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: New England were twice in position to earn a road victory, but 2021's record-setting Supporters' Shield winners (73 points) didn't hold firm in a match where they were missing goalkeeper Matt Turner and center back Henry Kessler. Portland are dealing with a bevy of injuries themselves, though showed resolve to earn a home result in their 2022 opener. In all, a draw was probably a fair result.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Yimmi Chara's bicycle kick was equal parts audacious and skillful from the Colombian international.

GOLAZO! Yimmi Chará’s stunning bicycle kick

  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Carles Gil, after recording 18 assists a season ago, earned his first helper of the year on Brandon Bye's corner-kick finish. The No. 10, as expected, created chances aplenty.

GOAL: Brandon Bye, New England Revolution - 41st minute

Up Next

  • POR: Sunday, March 6 at LAFC | 10 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes)
  • NE: Saturday, March 5 vs. FC Dallas | 1:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)