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Portland Timbers Throw Away More Points in 1-1 Draw Against Chivas USA

The Timbers played to a disheartening draw at home against a team they manhandled last season.

William Conwell

After a brilliant opening period, the Portland Timbers fell apart under pressure as they gave up a 1-1 draw to Chivas USA. In the first half, the Timbers looked like a lock to come away with a win, but in the second they could not hold back a resurgent Chivas.

The Timbers opened the scoring in the 7', pushing the attack down the right flank through Kalif Alhassan and Alvas Powell. With space to work in, Alhassan sent a long ball over the Chivas box to the far wing where Darlington Nagbe brought it down. Cutting back away from the goal, Nagbe played a clean diagonal ball between two Chivas defenders to find Will Johnson running into the box. With his first touch, Johnson put a low, bouncing shot into the corner of the goal, just out of the reach of Dan Kennedy.

The Timbers continued pushing forward throughout the half, threatening occasionally to break through but failing to find the back of the net. The Chivas attack was effectively shut down in the first half, other than a slew of easily dealt with crosses and five corner kicks, which the Timbers looked comfortable handling.

The second half saw a reversal of roles as Chivas took the game to the Timbers, keeping the backs under constant pressure. In the 79' Chivas's persistence paid off when Leandro Barrera got around Alvas Powell on the Timbers right wing, sending a low cross through the box. It was a play that the Timbers had thwarted time and time again throughout the match, but this time Erick Torres had managed to drift away from Pa Modou Kah, who had been in his back pocket for the entirety of the match, and found himself unmarked with an open goal in front of him. It was an easy tap in for the prolific striker to net his fifth goal of the season.

With the Timbers floundering, Chivas slowed the pace of the game but kept up their high level of pressure. The Timbers, who seemed rattled, could not help but cough up possession of the ball, which prevented them from putting together any truly dangerous chances.

The best moment of the second half for the Timbers came not from the run of play, but from a free kick conceded by Chivas just outside the eighteen yard box. Will Johnson confidently stepped up to take the kick, curling the ball around the wall and beating Kennedy, only to have his shot clang off the outside of the post.