By Steve Pandher
The Whitecaps showed some resiliency as they were able to reverse their fortune from earlier in the week earning their first result against Timbers in MLS with a 1-1 draw in front of a sellout crowd at Jeld Wen Field.
It was a closely contested match with both clubs trading possession but it was the home side who created the better chances as they opened the scoring with a goal from designated player Kris Boyd. It looked as though the Caps were headed for their second straight 1-0 loss when they were saved by the first career MLS goal from rookie Darren Mattocks earning the visitors a point.
The two teams started out cautiously for the first seven minutes before Chiumiento found his way into the box and tried to find Le Toux before it was cleared by a defender. Minutes later it was Portland’s first chance as Kris Boyd attempted a shot to the far post which was handled by Joe Cannon.
The two teams traded chances around the twenty minute mark when, after some good work between Camilo and Chiumiento, Rochat found himself alone to send in a cross which sailed over everyone’s head. Then minutes later Jewsbury had a chance for a shot from just outside the box but a diving Thorrington was able to deflect it wide of the net.
Two-thirds into the first half Jewsbury, playing right back, sent in a cross from the sideline. Perlaza climbed to meet the ball but the header was sent high over the net. Another chance from the Timbers came as Diego Chara attempted shot from distance was then deflected wide by a Vancouver defender.
Just before the half Camilo had the best chance between both teams to open the scoring but the back pass from Le Toux was behind the Brazilian and his shot went high and wide of the net.
After a half an hour halftime delay, due to lightning strikes, the Timbers started quickly when a cross by Jewsbury down the right flank was deflected by DeMerit into touch.
The Timbers once again brought forward their attack and created their best chance so far in the match as Perlaza sent in a cross into the six yard area that was deflected over the net by Darlington Nagbe.
The Whitecaps finally created a chance after some strong play between Chiumiento and Camilo sent in Koffie who was brought down at edge of the box earning a free kick.
Unfortunately for the Caps, the attempt by Alain Rochat was nowhere near the goal as he got under the ball skiing it over the bar. Moments later, Troy Perkins was forced into his first work of the night diving to make a stop on a shot by Le Toux which was deflected by Mosquera to the far post.
The Timbers responded with some pressure around Vancouver’s box which eventually led them to break the deadlock in the 67th minute when Jewsbury, from the right flank, sent in a cross that Cannon was unable to clear past Kris Boyd who scored his fourth of the season.
The Whitecaps did not react well to allowing the goal as Portland continued to get chances. Perlaza was robbed by diving Cannon and an attempt on goal by Boyd was sent wide of the net. With about 15 minutes to play Camilo finally responded with a chance but he was unable to curl his shot from outside the box past a diving Perkins.
In the 84th minute second half sub Darren Mattocks made an immediate impression as within minutes of getting onto pitch he was able to gather a flick on by Hassli, firing a shot past Perkins to open his MLS account and pull the Whitecaps even with the Timbers.
Into extra time there a couple of chances for the home side as they applied heavy pressure in order to get the full three points but their best chance was a looping cross to the far post which forced Cannon to clear the ball over the bar.
It was surprising that there were a few changes made to a side that lost the Voyageurs Cup in a poor performance against TFC on Wednesday.
However the starters put in a gritty performance keeping the Caps in the match until a couple of substitutes were able to combine and earn the Whitecaps a single point. Mattocks finally discovered the finish that eluded him against Seattle a week earlier in BC Place.
After finishing a stretch where they played nine games in twenty-nine days, including two cross continent trips, the Whitecaps will now have fifteen days off before facing the Houston Dynamo at BC Place.
For Portland, the late loss of a goal to deny them victory will not come as a surprise to their fans. Just as Vancouver failed to close out their lead in last week’s Cascadia Cup, Portland were similarly culpable.
The Timbers now have just two wins in eleven matches since opening day and the ability to be more clinical would seem to be the next challenge to be conquered.