The Portland Timbers drew 1-1 against the Columbus Crew Sunday afternoon. The Timbers trailed the Crew 1-0 for the last 59 minutes of action. In the dying seconds of the match, Santiago Moreno would score to ensure the Timbers wouldn’t walk away from the match empty-handed.
Entering the game at Lower.com Field, both the Timbers and the Crew were feeling the pressure of the playoff push. The Columbus Crew were on the edge of the post-season bubble, holding the 7th seed in the Eastern Conference standings. The Timbers, similarly, came into today’s contest as the 6th seed in the Western Conference.
The Columbus Crew had a strong showing in the first half of the match. Cucho Hernández just two minutes into the game nearly found an opening goal. His shot lofted well out of reach of the goalkeeper, but could not dip below the crossbar.
Columbus would, however, be able to bury the first goal of the game in the 36th minute. Cucho Hernández would switch the position of attack by crossing the ball the width of the field. Pedro Santos would corral the pass, and look for Lucas Zelarayán in the box. Zelarayán’s tap pass would set up Kevin Molino for a shot that would just sneak under the arm of Portland netminder, Aljaz Ivacic. The Crew would hold the 1-0 lead for the rest of the half.
The Timbers knew they would have to make a push in the second half. However, Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Room was standing tall. At 57:35, Santiago Moreno would feed Yimmi Chara at the penalty dot. Chara’s shot would be denied by Room, and the Columbus defense would assist in clearing the ball away. Then at 58:15, Room would make another clutch save off of a Timbers corner kick.
Things almost went from bad to worse for Portland after their offensive push. At 80:00, Derrick Etienne found a lane between defenders to receive a pass. His shot would beat Ivacic to the far post as well, and it looked as if the Crew were about to lead by two goals. However, the goal would be called back, as Etienne would be ruled offsides on the play.
Another ten minutes of gameplay would go by with the Timbers still trailing by one. Four minutes of stoppage time were added to the game clock, and it would take all four of those minutes for Portland to find their break. At 94:23, two players would fall to the ground while battling for possession of a loose ball. While Crew defenders wanted a penalty, Santiago Moreno would gather possession, split defenders, and take a shot off a bounce. Moreno’s shot would hook just outside goalkeeper Room’s reach, and sneak inside the far post. Time would expire shortly after, and the Timbers would escape Columbus with a draw.
The Timbers have two regular season games remaining, both of which take place in October. Portland’s final home game of the season is Sunday, Oct. 2 against LAFC with first kick set for 2 p.m.