Benny Feilhaber scored a highlight-reel golazo in the 65th minute to open the scoring for SKC, but Jeremy Ebobisse found a dramatic leveler in the 83rd to set the stage for Fernandez's late heroics, which came deep into second-half stoppage time.
After a scoreless first half, Feilhaber broke through with a shocking opener off what looked to be an intended cross that sailed into the far post over Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark, stunning the home crowd and putting SKC in great position to see out what would have been a huge road victory.
Portland looked destined for the deflating home defeat, but Ebobisse came through with the leveler in the 83rd minute, finding a point-blank finish off a deflected cross from Diego Chara, before Fernandez nodded a home the winner just before the final whistle, setting off a wild scene at Providence and allowing the home side to snatch all three points.
- 65' - SKC - Benny Feilhaber | WATCH
- 83' - POR - Jeremy Ebobisse | WATCH
- 90' - POR - Brian Fernandez | WATCH
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's hard to overstate just how much the script flipped for the Timbers late in the match. Before Ebobisse's equalizer it looked like the postgame narrative would center around how they endured another disappointing result on their home field and dropped crucial points in the Western Conference playoff race. Instead, Ebobisse and Fernandez sent them to a massive victory over an in-form conference foe and shot them above the playoff line, with a bunch of home games still left to go. As big a result as it is for Portland, it's an equally disappointing one for SKC, who will feel like a golden opportunity passed them by after Feilhaber put them in the driver's seat.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: This is an easy one: Fernandez's late winner didn't just start a party at Providence, it could also prove to be huge later on during the stretch run as the Timbers look to lock down a playoff spot in the ever-tight West.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: It can't be anyone other than Fernandez. There aren't many words left to describe just how crucial his acquisition has been for Portland, as he now has 11 goals in 16 games since his May 15 debut. None were bigger than this.