PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy saved the dramatics for the end on a blustery Sunday afternoon at Providence Park, trading goals in the final two minutes in a match that ended in a 2-2 draw.
Timbers striker Fanendo Adi nearly played the role of hero, completing a brace with a 90th-minute goal to put Portland ahead 2-1. But late substitute Alan Gordon came through with the stoppage-time equalizer.
LA’s Gyasi Zardes leveled the score the first time, after Adi’s first-half goal, turning in a 65th-minute cross from Jose Villarreal.
Both teams have now picked up results from their first two matches of the season, with the Galaxy having beaten the Chicago Fire and Portland playing Real Salt Lake to a draw on MLS’ opening weekend.
Both sides had no problem getting forward in the first half, with plenty of early chances – nothing, however, to test either goalkeeper.
Then, in the 31st minute, Portland struck in the blink of an eye.
Off a throw from goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, Diego Chara played up the left wing to Darlington Nagbe, who sprang the counter attack with a quick backheel flick to Rodney Wallace. The Timbers left winger then played through to Adi in the box, who fired a curling right-footer past LA ‘keeper Brian Rowe and inside the far post for the opener and Portland’s first of the season.
LA’s best chance of the first half came seven minutes later when Juninho played through to Robbie Keane, whose one-on-one chance against Kwarasey was turned away with a sliding save.
Baggio Husidic got an open look on goal from the top of the box in the 50th minute, but his right-footed blast sailed high. And Zardes took a long ball in the Timbers box two minutes later, only to see his right-footed attempt wanting more as it too sailed high.
But Zardes did no wrong with his next chance, flashing in front of Kwarasey to redirect Villarreal's cross into the back of the net for the 65th-minute equalizer.
But the Timbers hit for their second when center back Liam Ridgewell played up the right wing to Nagbe, who left off for Adi in the box. Adi took a touch to fend off traffic and fired past Rowe.
Gordon’s equalizer came off a corner kick, looping a header from the center of the area over the reach of Kwarasey.
Portland hit the road for the first time in 2015 for their next match, Saturday against Sporting Kansas City. The Galaxy are back home to play host to the Houston Dynamo that same day.
Dan Itel covers the Timbers for MLSsoccer.com.
Portland Timbers (0-0-2, 2pts) vs. LA Galaxy (1-0-1, 4pts)
March 15, 2015 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 0 2 2
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
POR: Adi (Wallace), 31
LA: Zardes (Villarreal), 65
POR: Adi (Nagbe, Ridgewell), 90
LA: Gordon (Ishizaki), 90+2
LA: Väyrynen (Caution), 79
LA: Gargan (Caution), 88
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Kwarasey, D Powell, D Borchers, D Ridgewell ©, D Villafaña, M Jewsbury, M Chara, M Asprilla (Fernández, 56), M Nagbe, M Wallace (Urruti, 82), F Adi
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Jeanderson, D Paparatto, D Peay, M Fochive
TOTAL SHOTS: 8 (Adi, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Adi, 2); FOULS: 10 (Adi, 3); OFFSIDES: 3; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 2
LA: GK Rowe, D Gonzalez, D Rogers (Dunivant, 87), D Gargan, D Leonardo, M Ishizaki, M Husidic (Väyrynen, 62), M Juninho, M Villarreal (Gordon, 76), F Zardes, F Keane ©
Substitutes Not Used: GK Penedo, D DeLaGarza, M Garcia, F Jamieson
TOTAL SHOTS: 13 (Gonzalez, Zardes, 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 4 (Four players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Gargan, Juninho, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 6; SAVES: 2
Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Paul Scott, Felisha Mariscal
4th Official: Baboucarr Jallow
Time of Game: 1:50
Weather: Overcast, 59 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial