The early going was all San Jose as the Quakes threw numbers forward at the Timbers, pressing hard down their left flank and looking to exploit the space between Darlington Nagbe and Alvas Powell. With a series of attacks coming in, it looked inevitable that the Earthquakes would break things open in the early going.
It almost happened in the 7th minute as Chris Wondolowski got in behind the Timbers' back line with a well-timed run. Hauling in a chipped pass from Shae Salinas out on the wing, Wondolowski turned to shoot but found himself quickly closed down by Adam Kwarasey, who stuck out a hand to block away his close-range attempt.
The Earthquakes' lost their hold on the match, however, as the Timbers started to turn it on in the 20th minute.
The Timbers' first chance came then as Diego Valeri found Fanendo Adi in space out on the right wing. The Timbers' forward turned and raced toward goal, but his low-angle shot clanged off the inside of the far post and spun away from goal in the first of several near-misses for the Timbers.
From there the game maintained its back and forth, but the best chances continued falling to the Timbers as they began to put pressure on the Earthquakes higher and higher up the pitch.
In the 73rd minute, Rodney Wallace found substitute Lucas Melano with a low cross the to the near post where the Timbers' new designated player ran onto the ball and got off a hard first-time shot, only to have it saved by the sliding form of Quakes keeper David Bingham.
Only moments later in the 75th minute came the moment that would define the match. Valeri recovered the ball out wide on the left flank, playing a quick one-two with Wallace and bursting into the San Jose box, only to be chopped down by Quakes fullback Shawn Francis. Referee Kevin Stott was quick on the whistle, immediately pointing to the spot for the Timbers.
Unlike last week, there was no squabbling over who would take the penalty; Valeri confidently took the ball and placed it for his kick. In a moment of terrible foreshadowing, the ball shifted off the spot as Valeri prepared for his run up. After resetting the ball, Valeri made his approach and hammered a shot on goal, only to see it slam off the crossbar as the Avaya Stadium grass shifted under his plant-leg.
While there were more chances to be had for both teams, the missed penalty kick closed the door on the most dangerous attempts and the game ran out a 0-0 draw from there.
The single point puts the Timbers in 5th place in the Western Conference, moving them above the Seattle Sounders for the first time this season. The Timbers return home on Friday when they will play the last place team in MLS, the Chicago Fire.