Game Flow: The Portland Timbers Drop Points

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

A much improved Chivas USA team battled the Portland Timbers to a 1-1 draw.

Another frustrating result that can be added the the rest of the frustration results the Portland Timbers have experienced.

Game Flow

Opening Whistle-10th minute: The game started like many others with both teams feeling each other out and trying to get their feet under them. The Portland Timbers got of to the start they wanted amid some controversy when Carlos Bocanegra was not allowed to return to the field. Darlington Nagbe's perfect pass to the on rushing Will Johnson and he buried it in the back of the net. Just after his goal the Timbers felt like they might get another briefly after the goal but no solid goal scoring opportunities were created.

11th minute-62nd minute: After the goal both teams traded punches and counter punches as the game progressed but there was very little flow to the game. The Timbers would either give up possession or play the long ball without long periods of their trade mark possession. Chivas USA had some great spells of possession during this time and forced Portland to defend for longer than they are accustomed to and for longer than their defense is built to manage. This dominance by Chivas did not lead to too many solid chances and Portland was doing a decent job of keeping the game in front of them. The game did have a lot of fouls called, with a total of 28 called between the two teams, which broke up the flow of the game. The game seemed to change once Kalif Alhassan was subbed out and Gaston Fernandez was subbed in.

63rd minute to 79th minute: This 16 minute period was dominated by Chivas. They were able to do what they wanted offensively it ultimately culminated in the game tying goal. Portland on the other hand looked like the were playing route one soccer and when they did try and possess the ball it only lasted two maybe three passes before someone coughed up the ball or there was an errant pass.

80th minute to final whistle: The Timbers did look like they raised their level or energy and had a sense of urgency in the final ten minutes of the game. Chivas on the other hand looked content to absorb the attack and to try an steal a win with a counter. Neither side did find the game winning goal but Will Johnson's free kick hit to post during the waning moments of the game. In the end one team felt like they played their best game of the year and the other team sent their fans home frustrated. Again.

Observations

  • I hate harping on referees but the AR on the east side of the field was terrible. He got offside calls wrong, throw in calls wrong and a goal kick call wrong when he wasn't even on the line to be able to call it. He was terrible for both teams not just one sided...
  • I feel like this team read their own press clippings. Last year they were the plucky underdog who was out to surprise teams and they played with a chip on their shoulder. This year they look like they are playing like the deserve the win before they even step on the field.
  • Kalif has taken another step forward in his development and I feel he should have stayed on the pitch longer.
  • Sometimes as a coach you have to admit it was your own fault for a loss. Just my observation.
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