The Portland Timbers came to California looking for an improved showing against a division rival and got just that as they came away with a 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy. Despite the point, the match was as disappointing one for the Timbers as an own goal from Nat Borchers cancelled out Fanendo Adi's opener.
The first half saw the Timbers start out on shaky ground, defensively, only to see their back line solidify as the game went on. While the Galaxy had the majority of the possession in the first half, few trouble the Timbers most dribbled directly to Adam Kwarasey.
For their part, the Timbers struggled to break down the Galaxy defense, despite an early injury to right back Robbie Rogers. Despite one move in the 22nd minute that saw Diego Valeri flash a diagonal pass just outside the reach of Lucas Melano at the Galaxy's back post after a quick move down the pitch, the Timbers were unable to put a shot on goal through the first 45 minutes.
That would change in the 52nd minute, however, as the Timbers broke quickly up the pitch with a series of passes through the midfield. After an interchange between Darlington Nagbe and Valeri, Valeri took the ball down and played a smooth through ball for Adi, who ran it down and cut back before hitting a side footed shot that curled beautifully around Brian Rowe and into the back of the net to open the scoring.
From there the match was wide open, with both teams sending quick attacks down the pitch. The Galaxy would pull back a goal in the 84th minute on just one such moment, as Sebastian Lleget broke down the Timbers' left flank and played a curling ball in behind the Timbers defense. With runners in the center of the pitch, Nat Borchers dove to head the ball away, only to see it skip off his head and around Kwarasey to put the Galaxy on the board.
While the missed points were disappointing, a dirty tackle from Nigel de Jong on Darlington Nagbe in the 73rd minute was the low point of the match as the Timbers were forced to sub Nagbe and de Jong was given only a yellow card for the tackle.
The Timbers play again on Wednesday, hosting FC Dallas at Providence Park.