Tonight's match saw the Portland Timbers' second team struggle to break down Jamaican side Portmore United, coming away from a match that they dominated with an unsatisfying 1-1 draw. The tie makes the Vancouver Whitecaps, who beat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 earlier today, the winners of this year's Rose City Invitational regardless of Saturday's results.
The Timbers opened the scoring tonight with a fortunate deflection to Michael Nanchoff in the 75' that fell to the skillful midfielder's feet at the top of the Portmore box. With the ball still bouncing Nanchoff struck it on the volley, sending a laser shot just inside the near post and putting the Timbers up 1-0.
With the Timbers' stranglehold on possession in the match, Nanchoff's goal looked like it would be enough to see the Timbers through to a win, but Portmore was able to pull one back thanks at a quick break down the pitch in the 82'. As a Portmore player carried the ball into the box, Jorge Villafana stepped in to tackle the ball away, but instead took out his man, prompting the referee to point to the spot with no hesitation. Portmore substitute Francois Swaby stepped up to the spot amidst the boos of the Timbers Army and calmly sent Andrew Weber diving the wrong direction as he buried his penalty kick in the back of the net and tied the match at 1-1.
Before all the action in the second half, the first 45' saw both sides pressing hard to win the ball, resulting in some disjointed possession for the Timbers as they labored to find space for themselves. Despite struggling to string together the long, beautiful series of passes that we regularly saw from the first team on Sunday, the Timbers did manage to hold the ball for the majority of the half and kept consistent pressure on the Portmore defense.
The Timbers' had several chances in the first half as a result of that pressure as three glancing headers were sent just wide from Rauwshan McKenzie on the Timbers' five first-half corner kicks. Frederic Piquionne also had several chances go begging when he found himself in one on one with the keeper, first getting the ball stopped by a sliding Gariece McPherson then later losing possession while attempting to put the ball onto his favored right foot.
After Portmore pulled level the Timbers continuously pushed forward, trying to find the game winner, but were unable to generate any clear chances on goal.