Reds earn draw after trailing in Portland

KURTIS LARSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:03 AM ET

A pair of second-half goals from two of TFC's newest acquisitions helped the Reds overcome a two-goal deficit on the way to securing a 2-2 draw in Portland Saturday night.

Danny Koevermans provided Toronto a share of the points 10 minutes from time just moments after TFC's Peri Marosevic cut Portland's lead in half in the 70th minute.

Signed from FC Dallas Friday, Toronto's newest addition made his mark after picking up a loose ball 25-metres from goal. After replacing Nick Soolsma at the half, Marosevic took a touch before unleashing a half-volley that skipped past Portland's Troy Perkins and into the side netting.

The wide-open affair was capped when Koevermans managed to redirect Joao Plata's cross in the late-stages to salvage a point away from home while keeping the Timbers winless at JELD-WEN Field since May.

In his return from injury, a tale of two halves saw Stefan Frei tested right from the first whistle and throughout much of the first half.

Portland's Eddie Johnson provided the first good opportunity 10 minutes in after latching on to a Lovel Palmer slotted pass. With his first-half diagonal runs giving TFC's backs fits most of the night, the Englishman struck a first-time shot that caromed off Frei and against the woodwork.

Misfortune led to Portland's opener after Plata failed to take advantage of Toronto's best opportunity of the opening half after picking up a through-ball from Koevermans behind the right side of Portland's defence. The Ecuadoran's curling shot came back off the post, leading to a counterattack the opposite way.

A quick passing sequence found Johnson at the top of the box who cut to his right before striking a shot past an outstretched Frei for the opener in the 23rd minute.

The Reds missed a golden opportunity to draw level just minutes later when a punched clearance fell to Julian de Guzman at the spot who skied the ball over the open net

It appeared the home side were well on their way to three points after Andy Iro was ruled to have taken down Diego Chara inside the area just after halftime. Portland's Jack Jewsbury buried the ensuing penalty, doubling Portland's advantage.

The Timbers came close to putting the match out of reach in the 63rd when Eric Brunner's header glanced off the near post to keep things at 2-0 before Marosevic's strike cut the deficit.

In arguably his best game to date, Frei was called into action yet again when Portland's Sal Zizzo raced in behind the right side of defence and was forced into making a palm save on a shot that would have put things out of reach.

Saturday's match matched two clubs with the worst goals against totals in Major League Soccer in a non-stop shootout that was to be expected from a pair of defences that have combined to allow 77 goals this season.

Frei's nine saves were the difference in providing Koevermans an opportunity to level the score in the 81st minute and give the Reds their first road point since the middle of June.

Five matches without a league win, the Reds travel to Nicaragua for the second-leg of a CONCACAF Champions League preliminary series with Real Esteli Tuesday night.

Earning a 2-1 advantage after dispatching the Nicaraguan champion last Wednesday at BMO Field, TFC advance to the tournament's group stage for a second-straight year with a win or draw.

The Reds return to MLS action next Saturday at D.C. United.


Videos

Photos