Larrys Mabiala nodded in his second career MLS goal early and the Portland Timbers stretched their unbeaten run to nine matches with a resolute 1-1 draw against Supporters' Shield leaders Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.
Julian Gressel responded with an equalizer after halftime for Atlanta, who controlled possession for most of the match but were at times exposed by Portland's intelligent counterattacking.
MLS goal-scoring leader Josef Martinez had an uncharacteristically frustrating day, failing to put any of his four shots beyond Portland goalkeeper Jeff Attinella and tossing away his protective face mask in the process.
Atlanta's frustrations were compounded by the 57th-minute exit of Darling Nagbe. He suffered what appeared to be a hip or side injury in the sequence leading up to Gressel's equalizer in his first game against his former Timbers teammates.
From #ATLUTD: Darlington Nagbe had missed all of 40 minutes and 13 seconds of MLS play this season prior to that injury. No Atlanta players has played more minutes than Nagbe— Doug Roberson (@DougRobersonAJC) June 24, 2018
- THE BIG PICTURE: It says something about Atlanta's quality that their own five-match stretch without defeat could be seen as a downturn, given it includes three draws. Portland, meanwhile, have drawn three straight after winning six in a row, but this tie was easily the most impressive considering the travel and opponent.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Mabiala may play center back, but he showed a poacher's instincts to pounce on the rebound after Samuel Armenteros' initial effort from a free kick was denied by Brad Guzan.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Alvas Powell was a tireless pest on the right of the 3-5-2 formation chosen by Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese. Powell would've registered at least one assist with better finishing, and was also part of the team effort to keep Atlanta's Ezequiel Barco reasonably in check.