Forward Kenny Cooper scored his fourth goal of the season to help the Portland Timbers earn a point on the road in a 1-1 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium on Saturday night.
Cooper opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, finishing a cross from strike partner Jorge Perlaza from the top of the six yard box to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead. Looking for their first win in 10 games, San Jose put the Timbers under pressure in the second half, leading to the equalizing goal in the 67th minute by substitute Alan Gordon. Fighting off a series of chances from San Jose throughout the second half, Portland's defense held steady to help it earn a share of the points on the road.
The Timbers finished the match with 10 men, when defender Jeremy Hall received his second caution of the match in the 90th minute, contesting a call by the referee after a scramble in the San Jose box in which the Timbers had three shots blocked.
Cooper scored his first goal since April 30, Perlaza tallied his first assist of the season, Hall was credited with his third assist for starting the goal-scoring play and goalkeeper Troy Perkins had two saves among his several key stops to help the Timbers (7-10-5, 26pts) stretch their unbeaten run to three games.
Defender Steven Beitashour notched his team-leading fourth assist, forward Chris Wondolowski attempted a team-high four shots and goalkeeper John Busch recorded three saves for San Jose (5-8-10, 25pts). Gordon scored his first goal for the Earthquakes in just his second appearance since joining the club in a trade July 14. With the draw, San Jose's winless run reached 10 matches.
A well-played ball from near midfield by Hall led to the Timber's go-ahead goal in the 23rd minute. The ball played by Hall sprung Perlaza on a run through the San Jose backline. From the right side of the box, Perlaza crossed the ball in to a loosely marked Cooper on the back post. On his first touch, Cooper knocked the ball into the back of the net for a 1-0 Portland lead.
Gaining momentum offensively in the second half, the Earthquakes leveled the score at 1-1 in the 67th minute. From the right side Beitashour crossed the ball in to the box from 35 yards out. Cutting back to the ball, Gordon popped in front of his defender at the last minute and headed the ball inside the far post as it bounced underneath the reach of a diving Perkins.
The Earthquakes continued to put the pressure on the Timbers through the balance of the match. In the 71st minute Perkins punched away a cross in by midfielder Joey Gjertsen from the right side; Wondolowski put the follow-up chance over the bar. Five minutes from time, Hall out-raced Gordon for a through ball played into the box, allowing Perkins to secure the ball. The Earthquakes attempted seven of their 11 shots in the second half.
On a late attack by the Timbers down the right flank, the Timbers had a chance at the game-winner in the 88th minute. From in the box, Hall threaded a pass to midfielder Lovel Palmer square on goal inside of 12 yards. Palmer had two shots blocked by San Jose players before the ball fell to substitute Kalif Alhassan, who also had a shot deflected wide. A minute earlier, forward Bright Dike, making his season debut, had a breakaway down field thwarted by a tackle from Earthquakes defender Bobby Burling.
The two clubs traded scoring chances midway through the second half. In the 52nd minute, Hall sent a long ball down field to try and relieve pressure by the Earthquakes. His ball sparked a dangerous run by Perlaza into the box and Perlaza ripped a shot on frame. Busch was there to push the ball wide of the right post. Ten minutes later, San Jose's Sam Cronin curled a shot from the top left corner of the box off the top of the crossbar on the far side.
Perkins recorded one of his two saves in the 37th minute, stopping a threatening shot from the top of the box by San Jose midfielder Brad Ring. With players blocking his view, Perkins was still able to get to the low shot on his left post. Two minutes later, he tapped away a dangerous cross from the left side, but Perkins then escaped a chance by Wondolowski, when the forward headed the follow-up attempt over the target from six yards out.
The Timbers had a chance to double their lead right before the break. Off a broken corner kick play, defender Mike Chabala sent in a well-placed ball to the right post. Defender Eric Brunner out-jumped his marker and sharply headed the ball just over the crossbar.
The Timbers continue a stretch of three straight on the road as they visit the Houston Dynamo on Sunday, Aug. 14, at 6 p.m. (PT). Portland then closes a two-game road trip at Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday, Aug. 17.