Timbers play to 2-2 draw after Toronto rally - KPTV - FOX 12

Timbers play to 2-2 draw after Toronto rally

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[Courtesy: PortlandTimbers.com]

Forward Eddie Johnson scored his first league goal and midfielder Jack Jewsbury tallied his team-leading sixth goal of the season as the Portland Timbers played Toronto FC to a 2-2 draw before a sellout crowd of 18,627 at JELD-WEN Field on Saturday.

The Timbers saw their 11th straight sellout crowd at JELD-WEN Field in their inaugural MLS season.

Johnson's goal highlighted a first half in which the Timbers controlled the play and edged Toronto FC 6-1 in shots on goal. Jewsbury then doubled the Timbers' lead in the 57th minute, when he converted a penalty kick as a result of teammate Diego Chara being clipped from behind in the box. But with just under 20 minutes left to play, a strike by substitute Peri Marosevic was followed by forward Danny Koevermans equalizing goal to help Toronto FC pull off the comeback and earn its share of the points.

Johnson's goal was the first of his MLS career, Chara and midfielder Sal Zizzo each recorded assists and midfielder Kalif Alhassan took a team-high four shots to pace the Timbers (6-10-4, 22pts) and help the club to its first points at home since a draw against New York  on June 19.

Koevermans scored his second goal of the season, midfielder Joao Plata logged an assist, Marosevic scored his professional goal and goalkeeper Stefan Frei recorded nine saves as Toronto FC (3-11-10, 19pts) ended a four-game losing streak in MLS play with the draw.

In a quick turn of events, the Timbers took a 1-0 lead in the 23rd minute. Plata had a shot hit off the left post and on the rebound the Timbers started a quick counter through Zizzo and Chara up the right side and through the middle of the park. Chara set up Johnson for a run into the offensive third. After a quick cut inside, Johnson blasted a shot inside the left post that Frei could only get his fingertips to. 

Portland claimed a 2-0 lead in the 57th minute on a converted penalty kick by Jewsbury. Chara was fouled in the box by Toronto FC defender Andy Iro and referee Kevin Stott pointed immediately to the spot. Jewsbury stepped up and drilled home his third penalty-kick goal of the season.

Marosevic's goal in the 71st minute sparked the two-goal rally by Toronto FC. A string of passes between Koevermans and Plata was broken up by a Timbers player, but the ball rolled out to Marosevic in space 25 yards out from goal. Acquired by Toronto FC on Thursday, Marosevic unloaded a shot just past the fingers of Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins and inside the right post. 
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Koevermans' goal in the 81st minute pulled Toronto FC level at 2-2 with just nine minute left to play. Plata gathered a deflected ball and worked it back into the box on the right side. Koevermans cut back to the ball to receive a pin-point pass from Plata and then one-timed it into the back of the net from inside 10 yards.

Portland out-shot Toronto FC 8-5 in the first half and forced Frei to make five of his saves in the opening period. Johnson unloaded a shot from the right side of the box in the 10th minute, but Frei was there to tip the ball off the crossbar and out of danger. Seven minutes later, Chara set up Alhassan for a shot inside 10 yards, but his rolling shot was scooped up by the Toronto FC goalkeeper.

In the 63rd minute, the Timbers nearly added to their lead, when a corner kick from defender Mike Chabala connected with the head of defender Eric Brunner on the back post. Brunner's effort bounced off the right post.

Portland pushed hard for the decisive goal in the final minutes of the contest, as a header by forward Jorge Perlaza and a long-range shot by defender Lovel Palmer just missed their marks. Zizzo had a bid for an insurance goal at the time in the 73rd minute, but his shot from a sharp angle on the right side was turned away on a timely save by Frei.

The Timbers open their August schedule Wednesday as they play host to the LA Galaxy at JELD-WEN Field live on ESPN2 at 7:30 p.m. Portland then hits the road for its next three matches, starting Saturday, Aug. 6, against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium at 7:30 p.m.

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