RECAP | Chicago Fire 2, Portland Timbers 2
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. – The Portland Timbers controlled the first 60 minutes on their way to a two-goal lead behind strikes from Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, but the last 30 belonged to the Fire, who used goals from Mike Magee and Daniel Paladini to pull out a 2-2 tie.
The tie extended Portland's unbeaten streak to 12 games as well as maintaining their undefeated road record in 2013, while the Fire nabbed points for the third game in a row.
The Timbers put the Fire on their heels early, hitting the woodwork three times in the first four minutes.
Less than a minute in, Frederic Piquionne received a long ball from Pa Modou Kah and ran past defender Austin Berry, cut back, and had his shot parried off the cross bar by Fire ‘keeper Sean Johnson. Diego Valeri collected the rebound and dished a pass to Diego Chara, who hit the bar from just outside the six-yard box.
Valeri finally broke the deadlock in the 33rd minute when he collected a flick-on by Piquionne at the top of the box, then carved out some space and beat Sean Johnson from 22 yards for his fourth goal of the season. Timbers goalkeeper Milos Kocic set up the play with a pinpoint kick upfield. He became the first Timbers player to receive an assist in the MLS era.
The Fire had a few chances of their own in the first half, but they weren’t able to seriously challenge Kocic.
It looked like the Timbers would run away from it in the 58th when Zemanski scored his first goal of the season--and first with the Timbers--finishing off a nice team movement with a blast from 23 yards for the 2-0 lead.
But thanks in large part to Magee, who was instrumental in both Chicago goals, the Fire weren't done.
In the 68th minute, Fire midfielder Alex played a through ball to Magee in the box, which was missed by both Kocic and defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste, giving Magee an easy tap-in goal.
Fourteen minutes later, after some sustained Chicago pressure, Magee earned a free kick that Paladini bent in for the equalizer around the Portland wall.
The Fire take a four-game unbeaten streak in all competitions into Wednesday's U.S. Open Cup game against Columbus before taking on Colorado one week later to close out a four-game homestand.
Portland will take on the Tampa Bay Rowdies on Wednesday in Open Cup play before hosting FC Dallas three days later.
Portland Timbers (5-1-8, 23pts) at Chicago (3-7-3, 12pts)
June 8, 2013 – Toyota Park (Bridgeview, Ill.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
Chicago Fire 0 2 2
POR: Valeri (Piquionne, Kocic), 33
POR: Zemanski (Piquionne), 58
CHI: Magee, 68
CHI: Paladini, 82
POR: Chara (Caution), 45+2
CHI: Magee (Caution), 60
POR: W. Johnson (Caution), 83
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kocic, D Jewsbury, D Jean-Baptiste, D Kah, D Harrington, M Chara, M Zemanski, M Johnson, W. ©, F Valeri (Zizzo, 67), F Piquionne (Valencia, 87), F Nagbe
Substitutes Not Used: GK Gleeson, D McKenzie, D Miller, M Alhassan M Nanchoff
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (W. Johnson, Piquionne, Valeri, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Valeri, 2); FOULS: 16 (Four players, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 0; SAVES: 5
CHI: GK Johnson, D Anibaba, D Berry, D Soumare, D Segares, M Nyarko, M Larentowicz © (Paladini, 70), M Alex, M Duka (MacDonald, 71), F Rolfe (Santos, 64), F Magee
Substitutes Not Used: GK Tornaghi, D Videira, D Jumper M Pause
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Alex, Magee, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 7 (Magee, Nyarko, 2); FOULS: 11 (Alex, 4); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 9; SAVES: 3
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Assistant Referees: Bill Dittmar, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Fotis Bazakos
Time of Game: 1:53
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 69 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial