Portland Timbers Give Up Late Goal to Tie LA Galaxy 2-2

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The lead changed hands twice as the Timbers tied the Galaxy.

The Portland Timbers went to Los Angeles ready to wager their strong road form against an LA Galaxy side that were on a five game unbeaten run. 90' later, neither team will be satisfied with a 2-2 draw fueled by defensive errors.

The first half of the match saw both teams pressing forward and finding half chances, but neither team making much of them. The Galaxy did come close to opening the scoring in the 15' as the Timbers struggled to clear the ball out of their area and instead saw it make its way to Marcelo Sarvas out on the Timbers' right. Sarvas hit a hard, curled shot at the back post that left Donovan Ricketts standing still, only to have the ball bounce off the inside of the far post and back out, never crossing the line.

In the second half the Timbers would find themselves in another similar situation. In the 65', a bouncing ball fell into a group of Galaxy players at the top of the Timbers' box. While the Timbers' defenders stood back, unsure of how to proceed, the Galaxy players were able to sort out who would take the ball and how to proceed. First, Landon Donovan took down the bouncing ball then left it for Sarvas, again out on the Timbers' right flank. With little defensive pressure, Sarvas was able to take a step toward the center and again hit a curling shot at the back post. This time, however, the ball went inside the post, rather than off it, putting the Galaxy up 1-0.

It was only two minutes later, however, that the Timbers got on the board, pulling the game level in the 67'. The Timbers broke down the pitch on the left flank, with Darlington Nagbe playing Jorge Villafana in behind the defensive line. Throwing in a step over as he created space and got by his man, Villafana hit a hard cross through the LA box, finding Fanendo Adi at the far post. The big striker was able to get a head on the ball, but his attempted shot was blocked away and wend bouncing toward the top of the box. As the ball skipped away, Diego Valeri arrived on the scene and, striking the ball on the volley, he send a shot cannoning through the defense where it took a slight deflection around the diving Jamie Penedo and into the back of the net.

With the game now even, the Timbers kept up the pressure with LA on the ropes and in the 70' it paid off. The Timbers once again broke out down the left flank, this time with Will Johnson playing a long through ball from deep in the midfield that broke beautifully for Villafana who ran tirelessly down the wing. From out wide, Villafana dropped a low ball into the box for the onrushing Valeri, who again took his chance with his first touch. This time there was a Galaxy defender on hand to block the shot away, but the ball against took a friendly bounce for the Timbers, falling to Villafana who was crashing into the box following his long run. With a touch of the ball, Villafana made just enough space to squeeze a shot through at the near post, beating Penedo again and putting the Timbers up 2-1.

With the lead now in their hands, the Timbers found the tide beginning to turn in the Galaxy's favor and once again found it very difficult to get the ball clear of their zone. In the 86' they would be hurt by their inability to get the ball away from goal as LA scooped up the ball and began knocking it around the box. With the Timbers bunkered down and just trying to survive, it was Donovan, the Galaxy talisman, who provided the pass that unlocked the Timbers. Holding the ball at the top of the Timbers' box and with a wall of players from both teams in front of him, Donovan hit a high, curling, spinning ball toward the post that bounced away from goal and toward Baggio Husidic, who simply touched it across the goal mouth and into the path of Rauwshan McKenzie, who could not get out of the way and knocked the ball in to bring the score two apiece, where it would say for the remainder of the match.

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