The Portland Timbers ( 6-3-3, 21pts) extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches in regular season play Saturday afternoon a with a hard-fought 1-1 draw with the LA Galaxy (5-7-2, 17pts) before a sold-out crowd of 21, 144 fans at Providence Park
Midfielder Diego Valeri scored the Timbers’ lone goal in the second half, tallying his team-high sixth goal of the campaign. Portland had a chance to take the lead early in the game when Diego Chara slipped a pass for midfielder Andrés Flores in space in behind the Galaxy defense, with the midfielder hitting a shot that forced a strong save from goalkeeper David Bingham in the third minute of play.
The Galaxy opened the scoring, taking the lead in the 20th minute, when forward Chris Pontius received a well-played through ball from Emmanuel Boateng just inside the 18-yard box, before carefully placing his effort into the far corner.
One minute later, Portland came close to equalizing when Chara played a one-two with midfielder Sebastián Blanco, creating a clear chance for the Colombian midfielder inside the Galaxy’s box. Running at goal, Chara hit a strong left-footed attempt that forced another difficult save from Bingham.
Shortly afterward, the Timbers came close to equalizing after solid build-up play in the final third yielded space for Valeri on the far right side of the box, with the midfielder cutting the ball back across the box for defender Bill Tuiloma, who had his final attempt cleared away by a last-ditch tackle.
The home sides unwavering determination to find the equalizer came to fruition in the 57th minute of play when Valeri converted from the penalty spot. Portland earned the penalty after Flores broke free on a convincing run and was brought down inside the area by Galaxy defender Jorgen Skelvik.
The Timbers had a great chance to bag all three points with seven minutes left in the game, when forward Fanendo Adi curled a cross into the box, finding Tuiloma for a header that forced a diving save from Bingham at the far post in the 83rd minute. Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese was disappointed his team was unable to grab all three points after playing so well.
“I thought this was the type of game that you have to work very hard. That things weren’t going our way. We didn’t have the fluidity that we wanted. We created some chances. We had some good opportunities. But it looked like that type of game that you have to work hard and stay there and defend and then try to create something. A little scrappy and then credit to [LA Galaxy] as well. ” Said Savarese in his post game conference.
“They found a goal and it just became a difficult match. It was very hot as well. The most important part is we were able to come back and get a point. The important part for us is not to lose and continue this way. Even though it wasn’t a fluid match, they were able to get into it and get an important point.
- Saturday’s game marked the 130th consecutive sellout for the Timbers at Providence Park.
- The Timbers are unbeaten in their last seven matches, marking the club’s longest streak since a nine-game unbeaten run from May 22-July 17, 2016.
- The 1-1 draw against the Galaxy ended Portland’s six-game winning streak (club record in MLS play) and 10-game home winning streak (second-longest for any club in MLS history).
- Portland finished with a season-high 10 shots on target against the Galaxy, which also ranks tied for the fourth-most shots on goal by the Timbers in MLS play.
- Midfielder Diego Chara played in his 215th league match for the Timbers, setting a new club record for the most matches played by a Timbers player since 1975.
- Diego Valeri recorded his sixth goal in 2018, marking the fifth time Valeri has scored at least six goals in a season. Valeri is one of four MLS players with six or more goals in five of the last six seasons along with Bradley Wright-Phillips, Chris Wondolowski and Dom Dwyer.
- Portland’s goal also marked Valeri’s 12th penalty-kick finish since the beginning of the 2016 season, which is tied for the most in MLS with David Villa over the last three seasons.
Portland Timbers (6-3-3, 21pts) vs. LA Galaxy (5-7-2, 17pts)
June 2, 2018 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LA Galaxy 1 0 1
Portland Timbers 0 1 1
LA: Pontius (Boateng), 20
POR: Valeri (Penalty kick), 57
POR: Chara (Caution), 62
LA: Pedro (Caution), 74
POR: GK Attinella, D Tuiloma (Olum, 90+2), D Mabiala, D Cascante, D Valentin, M Paredes, M Chara, M Flores, M Valeri © (Adi, 75), M Blanco, F Armenteros (Farfan, 84)
Substitutes Not Used: GK McIntosh, D Jadama, M Williamson, F Langsdorf
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Valeri, Tuiloma, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 10 (Valeri, 3); FOULS: 11 (Chara, 6); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 11; SAVES: 2
LA: GK Bingham, D Cole, D Skjelvik, D Ciani, D Romney, M Alessandrini (Pedro, 72), M Lletget, M Carrasco, M Kitchen, M Pontius (Lassiter, 84), F Boateng (Ibrahimovic, 72)
Substitutes Not Used: GK vom Steeg, D Steres, D Klimenta, D Hillard-Arce
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Alessandrini, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 9 (Kitchen, 3); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 7; SAVES: 9
Referee: Alan Kelly
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Cameron Blanchard
4th Official: Dave Gantar
VAR: Ramy Touchan
Weather: Sunny, 73 degrees