Timbers 2 – 2 Toronto FC
While Portland and Toronto were missing key players, both teams played brilliantly as they kept on pushing back and forth throughout the contest.
Sal Zizzo started the scoring in the 21st minute when he put home a pass into the back of the net. Despite surrendering two consecutive Toronto goals to Eric Hassli and Luis Silva, the Timbers bounced back late on a goal by Darlington Nagbe in the 82nd minute.
The draw was Portland’s second in a row and, while not a win, was still crucial in establishing a better momentum surrounding the team.
Here are this games’ love ‘em & hate ‘em.
Momentum slowly coming back
Prior to two draws in their past two matches, the Timbers had seen their season virtually imploding in front of their eyes. They could not put quality minutes together and looked as if they were playing uninspired soccer.
Their past two contests have begun to change things for the better.
While the teams they have drawn against are by no means powerhouses this year, the points Portland has received in the past two weeks have been crucial in building up the confidence for the season to finish on a good note.
The players are beginning to play as a team once again and the Timbers are becoming a lot more fun to watch.
Offense coming back
The Timbers finally put up more than one goal for the first time in four MLS contests and looked to have plenty of opportunities to score more.
Offensive attacks are looking more fluent, efficient, and precise. Players such as Nagbe and Boyd are beginning to mesh together once again and really understand the style of play of one another. Though there is still much work to be done to get back to an elite MLS level, the offense has taken big strides in the past few weeks to make themselves an imposing force once again.
Whereas the offense is beginning to play much better, the Timbers defensive presence is starting to wane.
Portland’s defensive efforts were fairly lackluster yesterday, especially in the second half. The Timbers surrendered two crucial goals in the second that could have been easily prevented with a more sound defense.
Even in the first half Portland was susceptible to the Toronto attack. The Timbers’ defense consistently let the Reds into their territory and could not find the identity to put together a quality second half.
Games Portland Should Win
Say everything you want about the Timbers this season, but the past two games Portland has drawn in should have been easily winnable contests. There is no question that Portland has a lot of talent on their roster.
While all teams are formidable, FC Dallas and Toronto are not exactly the most threatening teams in the MLS. Portland’s talent base should have been able to put together better efforts against teams that are mightily struggling.
That being said, these past two games were good to watch in the context that they can be used as building blocks into the future for the Timbers.
After such a horrid stretch of games it is nice to see Portland putting together better efforts that may definitely help with a big push at the end of the season.
Post Game Video
Goals by Sal Zizzo and Darlington Nagbe pace Portland in wild 2-2 draw with TFC