Portland Timbers 1 (4), FC Cincinnati 1 (2) | MLS is Back Tournament Match Recap
Steve Clark saved Jurgen Locadia's second penalty of the night, Kendall Waston skied his spot kick over the bar and the Portland Timbers survived wild trouble of their own making, advancing past FC Cincinnati on penalties after a 1-1 draw in to reach the MLS is Back Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday night.
Clark's save made amends for his earlier blunder late in the second half, a giveaway that resulted in FC Cincy's game-tying penalty.
Locadia had entered in the 72nd minute, and he converted that one before having his second saved in the third round of the tiebreak. In his first match action since early March because of a quad strain picked up during tournament preparations, Locadia also missed a wide-open chance in the dying moments of regulation that could've put the Orange and Blue in front.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda's penalty sealed the victory for Portland, after his second goal in as many matches put the Timbers ahead in the 67th minute.
Full PK shootout
On Portland's goal, Diego Valeri spotted Sebastian Blanco down the left and Blanco then picked out Niezgoda in the six-yard box. Niezgoda controlled with his first touch and poked in a neat finish with this second.
Cincinnati were level 14 minutes later after Clark's calamity. Perhaps unsure if he would be whistled for handling a backpass, Clark tried to play the ball around Allan Cruz with his feet. Instead, Cruz dispossessed him and was promptly taken down, leaving Armando Villarreal to point to the spot. Locadia stepped up, driving a firm finish between Clark's dive and the left post.
Man of the Match presented by Heineken
Przemyslaw Tyton. The FC Cincy goalkeeper was the less memorable of the two men in net, and that's a good thing. He made seven stops and looked in complete control for all of them. There was very little he could be expected to do on the goal scored by his Polish compatriot that gave the Timbers the lead. He was a big reason the match even got to penalties.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Although FC Cincy may feel disappointment now, they return home in an infinitely better position as a club than when they arrived in Florida, with both a basic sense of their identity for now and presumably a much greater degree of confidence in their ability to live up to it.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Columbus Crew SC fans who kept the TV on following their team's defeat may be doomed to have nightmares after Clark's error gifted FC Cincy a lifeline. The moment was reminiscent of a similar one when Clark was in goal for the Crew in their 2015 MLS Cup defeat at home to Portland.
- YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED: Deplagne appeared to give FC Cincy a shock lead with his header in the 61st minute. However, Villarreal quickly overturned the goal for offside following a Video Review. And the ESPN telecast let viewers in on his conversation with VAR Rosendo Mendoza.
- POR: Saturday, Aug. 1 vs. New York City FC (10:30 pm ET | FS1, TUDN, TSN)
- CIN: TBD