PORTLAND, Ore. – The vaunted Portland Timbers attack met their match Thursday night at JELD-WEN Field.
A week after scoring three goals in a 3-2 road win over Sporting Kansas City, the New England Revolution stymied the Timbers on their home turf to split points in a scoreless draw. It was the first time the league’s third-highest scoring team has been shut out this season, despite firing off 22 shots and dictating the pace of the game throughout the evening.
New England earned at least a point for their second straight game and the third clean sheet in the last four games behind the stellar play of goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth, who finished with nine saves, six of them in the second half.
One of the best looks of the night came on a smooth build up from the Timbers midfield in the 53rd minute. Rodney Wallace beat his man to the left wing and fired in a perfect cross to the top of the six for a waiting Ryan Johnson, whose one-time volley required a diving save from Shuttleworth.
And as the game wore on, the Portland attack only became more frenzied.
A clean look from Diego Valeri on a counter attack skipped just wide in the 82nd minute and a spinning shot by Darlington Nagbe in the 88th minute was once again turned away – a plenty familiar sight on the evening.
New England were coming off a 2-0 victory over Philadelphia last weekend thanks to a reworked 4-1-4-1 formation, but it was the Revs' defense that won the day this time.
The first half proved plenty frustrating in and of itself, with the Timbers winning seven corner kicks and firing off 12 shots, but there was little to show for all the action around the New England goal.
Their most dangerous look came in the 15th minute when Nagbe was sprung loose on a through pass from Diego Chará But Nagbe’s open look at the goal was punched away by Shuttleworth.
Second-half substitute Saër Sène also had a nice look from distance in the 71st minute, but his shot skipped just over the crossbar.
Ricketts turned in a stellar performance of his own with three saves, helping Portland extend their franchise-best unbeaten streak to seven games.
Both teams will be back in action for next week's midweek round of games. The Revolution return home to play host to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, while the Timbers play at Dallas on the same night.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Bobby Shuttleworth||A standout game from the Revs 'keeper, who produced nine saves to hand his side a point in as tough a place as any to play|
|2||Donovan Ricketts||Not to be outdone, Ricketts produced some solid saves as his own, none more so than a late save on Sène to keep New England from snatching the win|
|3||Darlington Nagbe||Once more proved the focal point of the Timbers offense and could've had two goals if not for Shuttleworth's excellent play|