The Portland Timbers came out strong, but faded as tonight’s match wore on, taking only a single point from their 1-1 draw against the New England Revolution at Providence Park.
For the fifth time this season it was the Timbers who opened the scoring, breaking through in the 12th minute. After a smooth pass from Darlington Nagbe sent him down the left flank, Diego Chara hit a chipped in cross over the New England box. Revolution full back Chris Tierney was on hand to head the ball away, but his looping attempt at a clearance did not leave the box, instead falling to Diego Valeri, alone in space. With plenty of room to swing and time to line up his shot, Valeri crushed a side-volleyed shot past keeper Cody Cropper for the opener.
As the game wore on, it was clear that the Timbers were controlling the run of play, pushing forward and threatening the Revolution back line.
The Timbers almost grabbed their second in first half stoppage time as Diego Valeri played Fanendo Adi deep down the pitch, leaving him to take on rookie center back Joshua Smith one on one. With the Revolution defender back peddling, Adi drove at him, cutting toward the end line and firing off a shot toward the near post that forced Cropper to get down and make the save.
The Revolution pushed back in the second half, however, and late in the match they would snag a game-tying goal. In the 84th minute, New England got the ball down the Timbers left flank at the feet of Kei Kamara and the striker hit a flat cross toward the near post run of Teal Bunbury. Bunbury could not connect with the ball with center back Lawrence Olum on his back, but the ball was still deflected on goal and keeper Jake Gleeson could only knock it away and into the path of Lee Nguyen, leaving the Revolution man to slam it home and tie the game at one apiece.
Although the Timbers would press forward, looking for the game winner, no more goals were forthcoming and the match would end in a draw.
The Timber play again next Saturday, heading to Pennsylvania to take on the Philadelphia Union.