COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – Will Johnson’s second half brace lifted the visiting Portland Timbers from a 2-0 second half deficit to draw 2-2 with the Colorado Rapids on a blustery Saturday afternoon at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
After Hendry Thomas’ penalty put the hosts up 2-0 in the 48th minute, the Timbers charged back to earn a share of the points in an entertaining, up-and-down affair in suburban Denver.
The result did little to help either teams' place in the Western Conference standings, with both remaining winless through a combined nine games to start 2013. The Timbers (0-1-3) earned their third point of the season in four games, and the Rapids (0-3-2) are second from bottom in the Western Conference with only two points through their first five games.
The hosts nearly jumped out to the early lead in the third minute when Shane O’Neill’s floating header off a free kick hit the inside of the post, and his follow up dinged the other post.
But a quarter of an hour later, and the hosts broke through in stunning fashion. Cutting inside after a pass from defender Chris Klute, Dillon Powers unleashed a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out and found the far side of a helpless Donovan Ricketts’ goal. The strike was the first professional goal for the 11th overall pick in January’s MLS SuperDraft.
On the other side of the half, the active Tony Cascio drew a penalty as he faked a shot and drew a trip from Diego Chara, and Thomas finished cleanly from the spot in the 48th minute to hand the Rapids a 2-0 lead.
However, the Timbers didn't quit.
It was all Johnson in the 55th minute as Portland got on the scoreboard when Ryan Johnson’s cross found an unmarked Will Johnson, and the Timbers captain easily headed home from short distance to slice the Rapids’ lead in half.
And in the 71st minute, the visitors completed the comeback. Atiba Harris tried to clear a ball out of his own penalty box, but he clipped Portland’s David Horst in the chest in the process. Will Johnson finished from the penalty box a second time, allowing the Timbers to even things up at two.
Both teams are back in action next week, as the Rapids stay at home to host Rocky Mountain rivals Real Salt Lake on Saturday afternoon, while the Timbers head home to battle the Dynamo later on the same day.
Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.
Portland Timbers (0-1-3, 3pts) at Colorado Rapids (0-3-2, 2pts)
March 30, 2013 – Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (Commerce City, Colo.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 0 2 2
Colorado Rapids 1 1 2
COL: Powers (Klute), 18
COL: Thomas (penalty kick), 48
POR: W. Johnson (R. Johnson), 55
POR: W. Johnson (penalty kick), 71
COL: LaBrocca (Caution), 10
POR: Chara (Caution), 12
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D Zemanski, D Jean-Baptiste, D Horst, D Harrington, M Chara, M Jewsbury (Wallace, 64), M Johnson, W. ©, F Valeri, F Johnson, R. (Alhassan, 88), F Nagbe (Piquionne, 46)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Kocic, D Miller, D Tucker-Gangnes, F Valencia
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (Johnson, W., 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 2 (Johnson, W., 2); FOULS: 16 (Chara, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
COL: GK Irwin, D Mullan, D Wynne, D O’Neil, D Klute, M Thomas, M LaBrocca (Hill, 82), M Powers, M Cascio (Mwanga, 72), F Buddle (Harris, 61), F Brown
Substitutes Not Used: GK Steward Ceus, D Kindle, M Sturgis, M Armstrong
TOTAL SHOTS: 18 (Cascio, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Powers, O’Neill, Thomas, 1); FOULS: 11 (Powers, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 0
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Eric Proctor
4th Official: Chris Penso
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Clear & Windy, 68
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial