KANSAS CITY, Kan. – In a wild match that saw Portland go down to 10 men in the first half and Sporting Kansas City go down to nine in the second, the Timbers drew 2-2 with SKC Sunday afternoon at Children's Mercy Park. Sebastián Blanco scored a first-half goal for Portland while Dairon Asprilla fired home the equalizer on a late penalty kick goal in the 85th minute.
Heading into next week's MLS Decision day, the Timbers can clinch a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win or draw over the San Jose Earthquakes next week or an FC Dallas draw or loss against Sporting Kansas City.
28' - CHANCE (POR) - Portland attacker Sebastián Blanco pinged a ball across to Andy Polo on the right of the 18-yard box. Polo then slipped a pass into Zambrano but his shot went over the bar.
29' - GOAL (POR) - Blanco gave the visitors the lead when he pounced on a KC turnover and fed a ball forward to Marvin Loría. Loria dribbled to the endline and shot on goal only to have it deflect out to Blanco who then picked out the upper right corner with his shot to make it 1-0.
30' - GOAL (SKC) - KC equalized a minute later when a ball was sent forward to Johnny Russell, who looked to possibly be offside, who then sent a cross into the mixer that found Kristián Németh. Németh headed it into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
32' - CHANCE (POR) - Moving into the KC 18-yard box, Blanco cut inside to the right and hit a low shot that Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia dove to his left to save.
36' & 40' - RED CARD (POR and SKC) - In a confusing sequence, Brian Fernandez was given a yellow for a foul. In the scuffle that followed, referee Alan Chapman then showed him a straight red card for violent conduct. Following a VAR decision, Chapman then gave SKC's Roger Espinoza a red card after his hands went to a Portland player's neck leaving both teams with 10 players.
46' - GOAL (SKC) - Sporting came out fast after the break with Gianluca Busio taking a shot that pinged off the left post but it fell to Daniel Salloi who slotted it past Portland's Steve Clark to make it 2-1 to the home side.
48' - CHANCE (POR) - Moments later, Blanco sped down the left channel to the endline before cutting a ball back to Loría. Loría turned and fired a hard shot on frame that Melia parried away.
54' - SAVE (POR) - A chipped ball forward to SKC's Salloi found him nutmeg a defender and go to goal only to see Clark come off his line and come up with a big save.
79' - CHANCE (POR) - Timbers defender Zarek Valentin stepped forward in the SKC attacking third to force a turnover. Blanco sped to the loose ball and went towards goal but his cutback shot was saved by Melia.
85' - PK GOAL (POR) - Portland evened the score at 2-2 when Dairon Asprilla hammered home a penalty kick in the 85th minute. Portland was awarded the penalty when Blanco fed a perfect pass through the SKC defense to Jeremy Ebobisse. Ebobisse was in on goal but was pulled down by Ilie Sánchez in the box. Chapman immediately pointed to the spot for Portland and gave Sánchez a red card leaving the home team with nine men.
The Portland Timbers return to Providence Park next week for a Decision Day showdown against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 6. Kickoff is at 1pm PT on ROOT SPORTS.
Portland can secure a spot in the Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs with a win or a draw against San Jose or an FC Dallas draw or loss against Sporting Kansas City
Full boxscore to follow.
Portland Timbers (13-13-7, 46pts) vs. Sporting Kansas City (10-15-8, 38pts)
Sept. 29, 2019 – Children’s Mercy Park (Kansas City, Kan.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
Sporting Kansas City 1 1 2
POR: Blanco, 29
SKC: Németh (Russell, Espinoza), 30
SKC: Sallói, 46
POR: Asprilla (penalty kick), 85
SKC: Gutiérrez (caution), 35
POR: Fernandez (caution), 35
POR: Fernandez (ejection), 36
SKC: Espinoza (ejection), 38
POR: Zambrano (caution), 60
POR: Blanco (caution), 65
POR: Valentin (caution), 72
SKC: Baráth (caution), 75
SKC: Melia (caution), 81
SKC: Sánchez (ejection), 84
POR: GK Clark, D Valentin, D Tuiloma, D Dielna, D Villafaña, M Zambrano (Moreira, 89), M Chara ©, M Polo (Asprilla, 58), M Blanco, Loría (Ebobisse, 55), F Fernandez
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Farfan, M Paredes, M Valeri
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Blanco, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Blanco, 3); FOULS: 6 (Blanco, Zambrano, 2); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 3
NE: GK Melia, D Zusi, D Baráth, D Sánchez. D Martins, M Gutiérrez, M Espinoza ©, M Russell (Gerso, 60), M Busio (Besler, 85), M Sallói, F Németh (Hurtado, 73)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Dick, D Sinovic, D Lindsey, D Medranda
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Sallói, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Sallói, 3); FOULS: 7 (Three players tied, 2); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 4
Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, Oscar Mitchell-Carvalho
4th Official: Lorant Varga
VAR: Armando Villarreal
Weather: Cloudy, 81 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial