The Portland Timbers erased a two-goal deficit in an enthralling 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls at JELD-WEN Field on Sunday.
Fabián Espíndola, Jámison Olave and the Red Bulls jumped out to a 3-1 win by taking advantage of poor first-half defending – primarily from new Portland defender Mikaël Silvestre.
The first error came in the ninth minute as Silvestre passed the ball back to Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts in a crowded box. The Jamaican goalkeeper appeared to try to pick the ball up but realized he could not do so. The ball bounced off his foot, and Espíndola was there for the finish.
Diego Valeri answered in the 14th minute off a pass from Kalif Alhassan. Valeri juggled the ball off his foot and chest before calmly finishing.
Silvestre was involved in another blunder in the 24th minute when he failed to control a long pass from teammate Kosuke Kimura. Espíndola capitalized again by sprinting first to the ball and easily shooting past Ricketts. New York stretched the lead to two in the 28th minute when Heath Pearce crossed the ball in front of goal to Olave for the sliding finish.
The Timbers cut the lead in half in the 56th minute. Valeri’s shot was blocked by Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles, and Darlington Nagbe was there for the finish.
Another deflection in the 83rd minute led to the equalizer. Nagbe’s shot was saved, and José Valencia finished.
The Timbers had complete control of the match in the end and nearly had a winner when Ryan Johnson’s bicycle kick went just side of the post.