ORLANDO, Fla. – The Portland Timbers came back from a one-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 tie against Los Angeles FC and win Group F in the MLS is Back Tournament Group Stage presented by Heineken Thursday night at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando.
Forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored his first MLS goal for the Timbers while striker Jeremy Ebobisse scored his third goal in as many matches and the team went undefeated in group stage play (2-0-1). Taking the top spot in Group F, Portland will now face FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 on July 28 (7:30pm PT, ESPN).
1' - CHANCE (POR) - With LAFC having issues playing out of the back, midfielder Sebastián Blanco sprinted in on Los Angeles goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega. Sisniega took a heavy touch on a back pass, Blanco raced in and knocked the ball but wide left of the goal.
7' - GOAL (POR) - Portland jumped out to an early lead as Chris Duvall played a ball forward to Blanco. Blanco spied Jaroslaw Niezgoda making a run to split the LAFC defense. Blanco's perfectly weighted ball found Niezgoda who then slotted it past Sisniega for a 1-0 Timbers lead.
11' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Marvin Loría sped down the left side and worked the ball inside the left channel. His hard cross found Niezgoda near goal but the headed shot went wide.
36' - GOAL (LAFC) - Los Angeles equalized when Latif Blessing pushed a ball centrally forward to Bradley Wright-Phillips. Wright-Phillips took a touch, cut inside and hit a hard shot past a diving Steve Clark to even the score at 1-1.
40' - GOAL (LAFC) - Four minutes later, LAFC went up 2-1 when Mark-Anthony Kaye snuck in to the back post on a corner kick to head home a goal.
77' - CHANCE (POR) - Midfielder Diego Valeri intercepted a pass near the edge of the LAFC 18-yard box and quickly crossed it to an open Jeremy Ebobisse near the penalty spot. Ebobisse angled his shot just wide of the left post.
81' - CHANCE (POR) - On a Valeri corner kick, defender Dario Zuparic leapt high near the six-yard box and hammered his header but Sisniega pushed it over the bar.
81' - GOAL (POR) - Seconds later on the ensuing corner kick, LAFC could not clear their lines. Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma fought for the second ball and headed it to his left where Ebobisse snapped his header down to the far post to even the score at 2-2.
The Portland Timbers will next play FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament on July 28 (7:30pm PT, ESPN).
Portland Timbers (4-1-0, 12pts) vs. Los Angeles FC (2-1-2, 8pts) – MLS is Back Tournament
July 23, 2020 – ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LAFC 2 0 2
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
POR: Niezgoda (Blanco, Loría), 7
LAFC: Wright-Phillips (Blessing), 36
LAFC: Kaye (Rodríguez), 40
POR: Ebobisse (Tuiloma), 81
POR: Duvall (caution), 29
POR: Blanco (caution), 54
LAFC: Atuesta (caution), 60
POR: Paredes (caution), 65
POR: GK Clark, D Duvall, D Tuiloma, D Zuparic, D Farfan (Villafaña, 89), M D. Chara ©, M Paredes (Williamson, 69), M Loría (Y. Chara, 46), M Blanco, M Polo (Valeri, 69), F Niezgoda (Ebobisse, 58)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Cascante, D Bonilla, D Mabiala, M Conechny, M Zambrano, M Conechny, F Mora
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Ebobisse, Niezgoda, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Blanco, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
LAFC: GK Sisniega, D Segura, D Palacios (El-Munir, 67), D Blackmon, M Blessing, M Ginella (Cifuentes, 67), M Kaye © (Duke, 79), M Atuesta, M Rossi, M Rodríguez, M Wright-Phillips (Najar, 67)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Vermeer, GK Ejimadu, D Harvey, D Jakovic, D Silva, M Guido, F Musovski, F Torres
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Atuesta, Rodríguez, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (Blessing, El-Munir, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Jose Da Silva
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: Cloudy, 79 degrees