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Match Recap & Highlights: Columbus Crew SC 1 - 1 Portland Timbers

Santiago Moreno is the hero as he rescues a point for the Timbers in second-half stoppage time.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Timbers snatched a point at the death in the Ohio sunshine, as they drew 1-1 with Columbus Crew SC. Kevin Molino’s first half strike looked like it was the difference, until Santiago Moreno’s last gasp volley leveled affairs and rescued a draw for the Timbers in the dying seconds of the match.


With starting centerback Zac McGraw suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Giovanni Savarese slotted in Larrys Mabiala into the Timbers’ back-three. The shift that Gio made in the second half of last week’s win over Minnesota was present at the start as well, as Dairon Asprilla manned the right wingback position while Santiago Moreno pushed higher up the field.

It was a choppy start to proceedings, with 13 fouls committed between the two sides in the first half. Columbus controlled much of the tempo and possession, keeping pressure on the Timbers backline as they probed Portland’s backline with multiple forays forward.

In the 37th minute, one of those forays finally paid off. A nifty move off the ball from Kevin Molino found him just enough space beyond Asprilla and Mabiala to receive a pass and slot home, giving the hosts a 1-0 advantage.

Despite some renewed purpose and urgency from the Timbers in the start of the second half, they couldn’t find the back of the net. A big reason for that was several key stops from Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room, who denied several golden opportunities for the Timbers in quick succession midway through the second frame.

Portland seemed destined for another loss on the road, until what was essentially the last kick of the game. Santiago Moreno came up absolutely massive and fired home a scintillating equalizing goal in the 95th minute, sending the home fans into misery and Giovanni Savarese and company into elation as the Timbers snatched a last-gasp draw.


3’ The first chance of the game fell to the hosts, as the dangerous Cucho Hernandez raced past his defender and found space in the box. His chipped attempt sailed over the crossbar, in an early warning shot for the Timbers.

7’ Early set piece opportunity for Portland, as Eryk Williamson’s service found Dario Zuparic at the far post. The defender’s header was wide of the mark, as it hit the side netting.

10’ In a reversal of expectations, it was Diego Chara who suffered the game’s first yellow card worthy foul, as Aiden Morris was shown a caution card for a late foul on the elder Chara.

25’ The younger Chara brother, Yimmi, was next to see yellow as he was shown a caution for a wayward boot that hit the face of a defender in attempt to win the ball

32’ In a bizarre sequence, Cucho Hernandez spent the better part of a minute exiting and re-entering the field after exaggerating contact to his head and receiving medical attention— only for him to finally re-enter and then send a shot just wide of the goal.

37’ Goal Columbus. After yet another period of sustained pressure, Kevin Molino ghosted past both Dairon Asprilla and Larrys Mabiala into the Timbers box. Hernandez found him with a backheel, and the Columbus winger slotted home past Ivacic into the far bottom corner.

45’ Bill Tuiloma was shown a yellow card for a late shoulder applied to Luis Diaz.

The Timbers went into the halftime locker room trailing by a goal, after yet another opening 45 minutes of a game where they didn’t really come close to scoring. Portland could only muster three shots in the first half, all off-target.

As they have been prone to do, the Timbers came out with a renewed energy and urgency in the second half, as they chased an equalizer.

58’ It took a bit, but the first big chance of the second half fell to the feet of Yimmi Chara. After a great interplay from the attack, Moreno cut the ball back for Yimmi right on the doorstep. His shot was blocked by Eloy Room, who made a great reaction save.

59’ Room again denied the Timbers, as he made a flying stop to deny a Tuiloma header on the subsequent corner kick.

66’ Mabiala was shown a yellow card for a big collision with Hernandez.

68’ First substitution for the Timbers, as Jaroslaw Niezgoda came on for Sebastian Blanco.

73’ A flashpoint in the Timbers’ box as Williamson and Williams got tangled as the Crew defender was preparing to shoot (from point-blank range). Both players went down in the box, and the home fans cried out for VAR. No review was called however, and the game went on.

82’ Subs for the Timbers, as Christian Paredes and Marvin Loria replaced Eryk Williamson and Yimmi Chara. Juan David Mosquera also made his Timbers debut as he subbed on for Larrys Mabiala.

82’ Niezgoda went down off of pressure from Nagbe in the box. No foul called on the play, denying the Timbers yet another glimpse of salvation from the spot.

As the game ticked into four minutes of stoppage time, hope for Portland to rescue something from the game seemed to tick away with it.

That is, of course, until Santiago Moreno saved the day.

90’+5 GOAL TIMBERS 1-1. In one final push forward, Mosquera’s cross found Tuiloma in the box, and he managed to work the ball out for Moreno at the edge of the box. After collecting (with an assist from the face of the prone Tuiloma), Moreno measured the ball and launched a volley past Room into the bottom corner. With almost the final kick of the game, Moreno rescued a huge point for the Timbers on the road.

The final whistle blew moments later, and Portland escaped Columbus with a last-minute draw. The draw moves Portland up to fifth place in the Western Conference with 46 points, with two games left to play.

After a brief international break, the Timbers will next be in action in their regular season home finale on October 2, when they square off against Western Conference leaders LAFC at 12 p.m. Pacific.