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Home Issues Continue, Red Bulls, Timbers Fight to a Draw

photo by Matt Kremkau

HARRISON, NJ - In a match that featured two teams with different problems of late - the Portland Timbers in scoring goals, and the Red Bulls having issues winning at home, the match ended in particular, yet predictable fashion as Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Aaron Long traded goals in the second half, resulting to a 1-1 draw at Red Bull Arena on a damp Saturday night.

Both teams bearly challenged each other in the first half, with Portland goalkeeper David Bingham making a key save when Tom Barlow drove to the net, only to be denied in the 43rd minute. On the other end of the pitch, it was the crossbar that did all the work as Santiago Moreno's chance slammed of the post to keep the Timber for opening the match

Portland sensed an opportunity to grab some point on the road for their first win of the season, and was able to cash it in at the 53rd minute as forward Jaroslaw Niezgoda scored his third goal of the season, taking a cross from Santiago Moreno through the box, and Niezgoda did the rest, as he out-positioned defender Sean Nealis for the ball and toe-poked it into the back of the net. 

But the home side was able to strike back in 68th minute off a set piece expertly delivered by Lewis Morgan that found the head of Dylan Nealis inside the box and defender and captain Aaron Long was able to put it away for his second of the season to level the match.

Red Bulls had one last chance to get their first win at home a few minutes into stoppage time when Luquinhas back-passed the ball over to Cristian Casseres Jr., but his shot soared over the net and into the stands as the supporters exploded in anguished groans as the final whistle was blown shortly to end the match in another disappointing, yet frustrating draw.

While the draw is disappointing to both player and supporters alike, they can ill afford to dwell on it as they must prepare for two matches in the coming days. Up first, the US Open Cup match against their bitter rival, D.C. United in the Nation's Capital in less than two days time and they travel to Chester, PA for a very huge match against the Philadelphia Union on Saturday.

When asked about his chances on those matches, head coach Gerhard Strube quipped "I think we know we are very sexy away and we will do it again on the road, and I think Tuesday is a good moment."


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