The Portland Timbers thought they were going to be getting out of the StubHub Center with another three points. But late in the match Nat Borchers redirected a into the back of his own net. This lone blunder in an otherwise stellar defensive performance from Caleb Porters' men allowed the Los Angeles Galaxy to gain a point on Sunday night.
Bruce Arena’s men, despite missing a couple of key attackers, looked like they were going to score throughout the night. They roamed around in the final third of the pitch, constantly switching to force the Timbers’ defenders to be ultra-focused at all times. Unfortunately, the goals never came and that could cost them in future matches.
Galaxy attack from kickoff
From the moment the match kicked off, the Galaxy went in search for a goal. In the 4th minute, Giovani dos Santos whipped cross into dangerous spot in the box, Mike Magee tried to get on the end of the delivery, but Adam Kwarasey caught it well. Six minutes later, Baggio Husidic had an attempt get stopped by the Portland goalkeeper. A failed clearance fell to the Bosnian who controlled the ball with his chest before hitting straight at Kwarasey.
It took Gyasi Zardes 17 minutes to introduce himself to this match, but once he did, he looked like Galaxy player most likely to score. He created space for himself in between the Portland defenders. As he went to shoot, Nat Borchers slid in and caught the Hawthorne native, drawing the first caution of the match. Unfortunately, the ensuing free kick from dos Santos was poor as it slammed into the wall.
Portland's first foray into their attacking third of the pitch produced their best opportunity of the opening 45 minutes. Fernando Adi laid the ball off for an overlapping Diego Valeri. Valeri found himself in acres of space and continued to make his way towards the eighteen yard box. He then whipped a dangerous cross towards the face of the six where Lucas Melano nearly got on the end of the delivery. However, the two Argentines could not connect on what would have been one of the moves of the season.
Two minutes later, the Galaxy created another opportunity that went awry. Mike Magee had possession in the middle of the park and tried to find Giovani dos Santos with a ball over the top. The Mexican international though, could not get a clean touch on the pass. Instead, it fell for Zardes who dragged Kwarasey off his line but failed to get a good look at target.
Adi Gives Timbers Second Half Lead
Throughout the entirety of the 90 minutes, the visitors mustered two shots on target. One of those, came off the foot of Fernando Adi seven minutes after the restart. Diego Valeri pushed the ball through the middle of the pitch and waited for his teammates to get ahead of him. Eventually, he found Adi in a bit of space down the left. The Nigerian striker made his way just inside the box before placing his effort perfectly into the far corner of the goal.
The Galaxy though, continued to hunt for the goal that they did deserve, although this time, coming from behind. Off of a corner kick, Daniel Steres met a cross with his head, only to see Kwarasey make a great reaction save, diving low and to his right to stop it at the near corner. Lletget then worked his way to the byline before sending a pass towards the 12 yard spot. However, Mike Magee and Gyasi Zardes weren’t quite on the same page as Magee thumped his effort wide of the near post again.
With six minutes remaining, Borchers made his error. He leveled the match by putting the ball into the back of his own net. Lletget put the ball into a dangerous area inside the eighteen and Borchers dove to try to send it out for a corner kick. Unfortunately, the cross beat the Ghanaian goalkeeper.
For the Los Angeles Galaxy, they have a short week coming up as they travel to Houston to play the Dynamo on Friday night. Portland, on the other hand, will welcome in the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night.