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Portland Timbers Neutralized By Sporting Kansas City in 0-0 Draw

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In a frustrating and physical match, the Portland Timbers still managed to take home a point after coming away from their match with Sporting Kansas City with a 0-0 draw.

From start to finish tonight's match was a physical battle that saw both teams swarming any attempt at possession and breaking up more direct attacking play with solid defensive showings.

The Timbers looked to move back to a more possession oriented style of play, pushing Diego Chara forward up the pitch to serve as an outlet for Darlington Nagbe and help jump start the attack, but with the Timbers' rarely able to connect before Pablo Nagamura or Roger Espinoza shut down the chance, the team still lost the possession battle, ending the match with 48.8% possession according to Opta.

The slight edge in possession belied an impressive edge in shots and chances for SKC, who came close with a series of free kick opportunities that narrowly missed out on hitting the back of the net. The closest came in the 9', when Ike Opara rose to meet a Marcel de Jong corner kick seemingly unopposed, only to put the ball just outside the near post with Adam Kwarasey still scrambling to cover.

With a total shots-taken advantage of 16 to 7, SKC appeared to have significantly more chances than the Timbers.

In a match that ended in a stalemate, the Timbers did have several chances of their own. Perhaps the most well-worked chance of the evening came in the 62', when the ball made its way to Fanendo Adi on the edge of the SKC box. Taking the ball in stride and throwing in a quick step-over while going at Matt Besler, Adi created an inch of space for himself and fired off a hard, high shot at the near post, only to see SKC keeper Luis Marin block the ball away for a corner.

The Timbers had one extremely close opportunity in the first half as well as, in the 33', Jack Jewsbury found Rodney Wallace streaking into the SKC box. Wallace hit the ball hard with his left, but Marin was again on the spot, making a miraculous reaction save to preserve the draw. Regardless, the play was whistled offside, although replays would reveal that the Timbers were onside by a significant margin on the play.

The Timbers have their final chance to get a win in March this year next Saturday when they head to Canada to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps.