(Don Ryan / The Associated Press)
(Don Ryan / The Associated Press)
Timbers 3, Red Bulls 3
Turning point: Jack Jewsbury's goal less than two minutes into the second half ignited a Timbers attack that had been scoreless for more than two games.
Spencer's view, after the suspended coach watched from the press box: "The second half, I thought we were magnificent. I thought we played the best team in the Eastern Conference off the field."
PORTLAND — It was going to be an energizing win.
Instead, Sunday’s 3-3 match with the New York Red Bulls was a demoralizing draw for Portland’s Timbers.
A handball foul in the fourth extra minute produced Dwayne De Rosario’s tying penalty kick after the Timbers played a dominating second half and were seconds from a signature win in front of a sellout audience of 18,627 at Jeld-Wen Field.
“The guys are gutted right now,” said team captain Jack Jewsbury. “That’s two games in a row where we’ve given up points late in games where we thought we deserved more.”
It was Jewsbury’s goal in the 48th minute that sparked a superb second half from the Timbers. Taking advantage of a miscleared ball, he struck a shot from 18 yards that produced Portland’s first goal in almost three complete games.
Moments later, the Timbers’ captain sent a free kick looping into the 6-yard box. Defender Eric Brunner leaped over a Red Bulls defender and nodded the ball into the path of Kevin Goldthwaite — a former Red Bull player who replaced an injured David Horst at halftime — for a doorstep finish.
The crowd and the team were energized, and the chances kept coming.
Rodney Wallace narrowly missed connecting with a diving header in the 54th minute, and two minutes later New York’s Teemu Taino cleared another Timbers chance out of the goal mouth.
The celebratory mood in the Timbers Army sections crept closer to delirium in the 67th when former Timber Stephen Keel, attempting to clear a cross from the New York goal mouth, redirected Jorge Perlaza’s sharp cross into his own goal.
It was 3-1 Timbers. But Thierry Henry wouldn’t let the Red Bulls exit without a fight.
The soccer legend worked a quick combination with Austin Da Luz and scored from the left side of the 6-yard box to make the score 3-2.
Three minutes later, Perlaza was pulled down by New York goalkeeper Greg Sutton. But Jewsbury hit the right post with the penalty kick. In the 80th minute, Kenny Cooper was ruled to be offside when he beat the Red Bulls’ keeper.
The significance of those misses were obvious after a crazy final minute.
First Henry — whose field presence started the play that created a goal for Da Luz in the fifth minute of the match — was sent off with a red card in the 93rd minute for slapping Portland defender Adam Moffat in the head several times after the two tangled in a possession battle. Moffat said the red card was deserved.
Seconds after play resumed, the desperate Red Bulls played a long ball forward that Goldthwaite was unable to play cleanly.
Instead of going out of play as Goldthwaite planned, the ball scooted to De Rosario, and one of the most successful attackers in MLS history was able to whip a cross toward the goalmouth that caught a scrambling Rodney Wallace squarely on the arm for an obvious penalty.
Goldthwaite said he first intended to head the ball clear back to goalkeeper Troy Perkins.
“It took kind of a weird bounce and at the last second I changed my mind and tried to clear it out but didn’t get a good foot on it,” Goldthwaite said. “I’ll put my hand up and say that was my fault for sure. I really should have just put the ball into the top row.”
The deflating finish came after a dominant second half from the Timbers, an effort that followed a lackluster first 45 minutes from the home team.
Assistant coach Trevor James, who filled in on the sideline for suspended head coach John Spencer, said his halftime message to each player was to attack.
“It was a just a matter of we needed to compete more,” James said. “We needed to work harder. We needed to believe in ourselves and get the ball forward a little bit quicker.”
The results were scintillating. The final result, however, was agonizing.
TIMBERS 3, RED BULLS 3
New York 1 2—3
Portland 0 3—3
First half—1, New York, Da Luz 1 (De Rosario, Henry), 5th minute.
Second half—2, Portland, Jewsbury 4, 48th. 3, Portland, Goldthwaite 1 (Brunner), 50th. 4, Portland, Keel (own goal), 68th. 5, New York, Henry 8 (Da Luz), 73rd. 6, New York, De Rosario 3 (penalty kick), 90th+.
Goalies—New York, Greg Sutton; Portland, Troy Perkins.
Yellow Cards—Wallace, Portland, 74th; Lindpere, New York, 74th; Sutton, New York, 76th; Tainio, New York, 89th; Mendes, New York, 90th+; Moffat, Portland, 90th+.
Red Cards—Henry, New York, 90th+.
Referee—Ricardo Salazar. Assistant Referees—Peter Manikowski. Claudio Badea. 4th Official—Armando Villarreal.
New York—Greg Sutton, Stephen Keel, Roy Miller, Carlos Mendes, Jan Gunnar Solli, Austin Da Luz (John Rooney, 81st), Mehdi Ballouchy, Teemu Tainio, Joel Lindpere, Dwayne De Rosario, Thierry Henry.
Portland—Troy Perkins, Eric Brunner, Jeremy Hall (Adam Moffat, 86th), David Horst (Kevin Goldthwaite, 46th), Diego Chara, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo, 72nd), Rodney Wallace, Kalif Alhassan, Jack Jewsbury, Jorge Perlaza, Kenny Cooper.