Portland Timbers 1, Orlando City 1 | 2019 MLS Match Recap
Substitute Jeremy Ebobisse headed in his sixth goal of the season eight minutes from full time, and the Portland Timbers salvaged a 1-1 draw against a shorthanded but resolute Orlando City squad on Thursday night at Providence Park.
Ebobisse's leveler canceled Santiago Patino's stunning opener for the visitors in the 44th minute, after they spent nearly all of the previous 43 on the defensive.
That certainly didn't change after the break, as the Timbers tried to solve a conservative setup from the Lions, who fielded a starting XI with nine changes from Sunday's home victory over Columbus.
But Portland could not find a winner against Orlando and goalkeeper Greg Ranjitsingh, who needed only three saves to help his side earn the point despite the Timbers' 26-2 edge in shots.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It's unrealistic to think Portland will win every Providence Park match during their home-heavy close to the schedule after opening their renovated ground on June 1. But Thursday marked a second consecutive underwhelming result in front of the Timbers Army, after a draw against Colorado last weekend. Wins in both would have them already above the playoff line in the Western Conference standings.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Orlando had scarcely had an attempt on goal when they took a shock lead on an unusual sequence. With the ball nearing the far touchline, Zarek Valentin bent over, presuming he would soon take an ensuing throw-in. Only the ball never crossed the line. The Lions' Robinho smartly played on, and eventually his cross was redirected into Patino's path.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Sebastian Blanco. It might've been a victory for the Timbers if Blanco's header had gotten a kinder bounce off the crossbar, or Ranjitsingh's back, for that matter. Even so, he was Portland's most consistently threatening attacker from the midfield, despite struggling at times to get striker Brian Fernandez on the same page.