After an underwhelming April, the Portland Timbers began the month of May by earning a crucial point on the road following a 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls.
All of the talk prior to the match centered around a host of notable absences for the Timbers. Claudio Bravo, Aljaz Ivacic, and Blake Bodily joined George Fochive, Diego Gutierrez, and Felipe Mora on the injury list for the Timbers, with Sebastian Blanco and Diego Chara only fit enough to make the bench. Dairon Asprilla and several Timbers coaches were also unavailable after testing positive for COVID-19 before the match, and Josecarlos Van Rankin was suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
Today's XI against Red Bull New York.— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 7, 2022
Kickoff is 4 p.m. (Pacific) on FOX 12 Plus. #rctid pic.twitter.com/Fe7zXBbJU0
After a first half full of chances, the Timbers finally broke their scoreless drought after 335 minutes through a Niezgoda strike at the start of the second half. After the goal, the Red Bulls piled on the pressure, drawing a few big saves out of David Bingham on his Timbers debut. Eventually, the hosts found the equalizer in the 68th minute through Aaron Long off of a well-worked corner.
- 9’ A clumsy foul from Pablo Bonilla set the Red Bulls up with a dangerous free-kick on the left side of the box, and an in-swinging cross met the head of Dylan Nealis, who couldn’t direct his header on-frame.
- 14’ Frankie Amaya collected the ball on the edge of the Timbers’ box, before taking on several players and dragging a left-footed shot wide of David Bingham’s goal.
- 16’ Yimmi Chara played a give-and-go with Santiago Moreno and continued his run into the box, but blasted a shot over the bar from inside the six-yard box after a brilliant chipped pass from Moreno.
- 25’ Santiago Moreno received a pass from Jaroslaw Niezgoda following a rapid counterattack, and shifted the ball onto his right foot before uncorking a swerving shot from outside the box that cannoned back off the crossbar.
- 40’ Yimmi Chara again was played into the box via a chipped through-ball, this time from Marvin Loria, but again couldn’t convert a promising chance into a goal, this time slicing a shot wide-right.
- 43’ Tom Barlow got off a first-time strike after a cross into the box from the Red Bull’s right wing, but David Bingham got a strong hand to his shot, which allowed Pablo Bonilla to complete the clearance.
At the half, the score was still locked at 0-0. The Timbers played well and created several quality chances that, as has largely been the case this season, they couldn’t put away.
46’ Almost immediately following the second-half kickoff, Eryk Williamson was shown a yellow card for delaying a Red Bulls free kick.
48’ Loria whipped in a dangerous low cross from the left that somehow evaded everyone in the box, before falling to Niezgoda on the opposite side of the pitch. Niezgoda crossed the ball back in, and after a swing and miss from Moreno, Justin Rasmussen drove a right-footed strike at goal that was deflected behind for a Timber corner.
53’ The Timbers won the ball back high up the pitch through Loria, who found Moreno on the right wing, before the Colombian winger drove a low cross into Niezgoda’s path for the opening goal. Niezgoda made a dangerous run across the Red Bull’s center back, and got a deft touch on the ball with his left foot to score his third goal of the season.
What a finish on the near post by Jaro. #RCTID pic.twitter.com/rb2voJQvLn— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) May 8, 2022
67’ After a sustained period of pressure, the Red Bulls finally equalized through former Timber Aaron Long. An in-swinging corner was headed back across goal into the box, and Long crashed the ball past Bingham to make the score 1-1.
69’ Shortly after the equalizer, the Timbers replaced Eryk Williamson with Diego Chara off the bench.
76’ Bill Tuiloma replaced Dario Zuparic who appeared to sustain a left leg injury, and Sebastian Blanco subbed in for Santiago Moreno, who was excellent on the night.
78’ Pablo Bonilla picked up a yellow card for a foul on John Tolkin near the corner flag. The resulting free-kick was headed away by Larrys Mabiala.
84’ David Bingham nearly made a mess of a Lewis Morgan shot, but recovered to awkwardly adjust and keep the ball out of the net.
86’ Marvin Loria was replaced by the more defensive David Ayala at the tail-end of the match.
A frantic final 10 minutes of regular time, and six minutes of stoppage, saw both teams unable to retain possession and create quality chances as they searched for a winner. In the end, the score remained 1-1.
In their next match, the Timbers will begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign away at LAFC. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PST on Tuesday, May 10.