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Portland Timbers Have a Very Bad Day; Lose 3-2 to Toronto FC

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With an injury, a suspension, and a blown lead coming from the match, the Timbers will need to work hard to turn things around following this one.

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers had everything go wrong for them in today's 3-2 loss to Toronto FC as they left the door open to the Vancouver Whitecaps to move back into the playoff picture.

The Timbers got off to a sickening start with the first touches of the match as Will Johnson took a long touch that turned into a fifty-fifty ball with Toronto's Mark Bloom. Both players slid in to win a ball, but it was Johnson who got the worst of it, immediately calling for the trainers. After several minutes of being seen to on the pitch, Johnson had his leg wrapped and stabilized and was stretchered off on a cart.

In the early going, the Timbers looked shaken but galvenized by the loss of Johnson. Pushing hard down the pitch, the Timbers managed to crack open the scoring in the 13' thanks to some high pressure from none other than Diego Chara.

With the ball on the Toronto back line, Chara picked his moment and sprung up the pitch, getting a foot up at the last second to deflect away a pass out of the back. The ball bounced off Chara's boot and fell to Fanendo Adi, who was up the field, riding the offside line.

Adi took a touch into the Toronto box then fired off a low shot at the far post. Former-Timber Joe Bendik dove for the ball but could not get down in time as it rolled past him and into the back of the Toronto net to open the scoring.

The Timbers kept up the pressure and in 16' were in on goal again. This time the Timbers worked the ball around the box after Diego Valeri swung a corner kick into the box. After a series of touches the ball made its way back out to Valeri on the Timbers' right wing, where the Maestro dove forward into the box.With Fanendo Adi crashing on goal, Valeri fired a low cross through the box, only to have his attempted pass deflect off the heel of defender Steven Caldwell and into the back of the net for an own goal.

From there, however, Toronto surged back into the match, taking control off the possession for the remainder of the half. The continuous pressure from the Toronto attack did not pay off before the halftime whistle, but it seemed to wear down the Timbers defense as they failed to win and keep the ball.

As the second half began the Timbers looked refocused and back in the game, leading to a more even possession statistic, but as Toronto grew increasingly desperate to level the scoring and threw men forward the Timbers were not able to cope.

Toronto finally broke through in the 62' when Daniel Lovitz curled a long, looping cross into the Timbers box. With a mess of players forward following a Toronto corner, TFC had all of their big targets available and it was centerback Nick Hagglund who got on the end of the ball, out jumping Darlington Nagbe and heading home an arching ball over Donovan Ricketts to bring Toronto within one.

Eight minutes later Toronto evened things up and again it was Hagglund putting the ball away. After a predictable foul from Alvas Powell gave Toronto a free kick out wide on the Timbers's right, TFC's designated player Gilberto stepped up and fired a hard free kick into the Timbers box. The low-trajectory ball bounced through traffic and made it to the far post where Hagglund was waiting alone thanks to a well set screen, heading the ball home before Ricketts could get across his goal line.

With the game now tied, the Timbers managed to get back into the flow of the match, leading to a wide open game with chances for either side. As the final minutes of the match wound down, both teams looked stymied by their opponent's defense, but a goal still seemed likely.

Unfortunately, when the goal did come it was against the Timbers. With a Toronto player carrying the ball down the Timbers' right, Diego Valeri tracked back and took the man down with a tackle for behind, earning a yellow card for his efforts. The card, Valeri's fifth of the season, will keep the Maestro out of the Timbers' match next weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes as he must now serve a one game suspension for yellow card accumulation.

After the card was issued, Michael Bradley stepped up to take the free kick. Sending a high, curling ball into the Timbers box, once again with all of Toronto's big men forward, Bradley's ball dropped just over the heads of everyone in the box, bounced once, and landed in the back of the Timbers' net, giving Toronto their first lead of the match with only stoppage time remaining.

Although they pushed forward with everything they had remaining, the Timbers were unable to find the equalizing goal in the match's final minutes and time ran out with the score at 3-2.