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Recap: Portland's woes continue

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Quick Recap:

The Portland Timber's schizophrenic play continues as the again start strong and build to a 2-0 lead. Instead of going down early Portland went down late and gave up the lead and full points. 2-2 tie with Toronto FC.

First Half:

John Spencer made 4 changes to the line-up and the changes showed in the first 5 minutes and Portland looked out of sync. After the first 5 minutes though Portland really picked up the attacking pressure and almost went ahead on a great shot by Eddie Johnson but he was denied his first goal of the MLS season by Sebastian Frei and the crossbar.

Not long after Portland almost gave up a goal as Toronto put one off the post after a Portland defensive lapse. However Portland took the subsequent clearance and countered. The Counter was run to perfection between Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe and Eddie Johnson.

Eddie Johnson was the one to receive the final ball and he made Toronto pay as he took one touch past a recovering defender and hit a great shot to the far post past an outstretched Frei. It truly was one of the better goals from the run of play by Portland this year.

Despite the goal Portland seemed to run out of gas in the last 5 minutes of the half as Toronto started to gain confidence and possession.

Second Half:

Portland again came out a little slow at the start of the half but was able to pick up the pressure in the next 10 minutes and that pressure again paid off. Deigo Chara made a great individual play to turn his defender and blew by him in the box. The defender contacted is leg and took him down and the referee pointed to the spot.

Captain Jack Jewsbury stepped up and buried the penalty. However from that goal on Portland's night went downhill. Toronto kept the ball for much of the rest of the game and looked the more dangerous side. a two nil lead is always the most dangerous lead. Again that saying was proved correct.

After Eric Brunner won a tackle the ball bounced straight to a Toronto FC player who finding himself wide open put the ball into the back of the net from 25 yards out. It was as if that goal put the doubts back into the Portland player's mind and it was as if Portland was not longer playing to win but playing to not lose. 

This attitude destroyed any chance for the full three points as Toronto struck again after having mutliple opportunities in and around Portland's box. After the goal Toronto was content to play for the tie. Portland tried desperately to get the go ahead goal but it was too little too late. Another 2 points dropped at home.

Observations: 

 

  • Sal Zizzo absolutely earned his start in the first half but faded in the second, he needed to but away his breakaway.
  • Portland had 3 breakaways and failed to score on any of them.
  • Lovel Palmer and Mike Chabala seemed to settle down the defense but Portland still gave up 2 goals.
  • The Tetris chant showed up on the broadcast and it looked great. 
  • Something is going on the mental side of the game and Portland needs to figure it out.
  • We all thought it might be a long season and looks like it will be from here on out.