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  • March 16, 2014
  • • 3:00 PM
  • • Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
  • Referee: Marcos de Oliveira Marcelo
  • • Attendance: 20814

Portland Timbers 1-1 Chicago Fire: Poor finishing keeps Timbers winless

Portland Timbers 1-1 Chicago Fire: Poor finishing keeps Timbers winless

Jaime Valdez

An inability to find the net means that the preseason favorites are still looking for their first victory of 2014.

PORTLAND, Ore. -- For the second week running, the Portland Timbers could only manage a 1-1 draw at home, this time sharing the points with the visiting Chicago Fire.

Chicago won a penalty in the 19th minute. Battling in the box, Portland defender Norberto Paparatto was leaning into Qunicy Amarikwa, who had the ball at his feet. When Amarikwa pushed into Paparatto, the big Argentine fell onto the Fire striker, bringing him down from behind. Fire captain Jeff Larentowicz stepped up to the spot and sent Donovan Ricketts the wrong way to make it 1-0.

Despite long spells of domination, the Timbers spent most of the second half wasting gilt-edged chances. A Diego Valeri cross in the 56th minute made it past the defense and fell invitingly for Gaston Fernandez and Max Urruti, but neither, especially the wide-open Urruti, was able to touch home.

And when a mistake from Sean Johnson gave the ball and a free net to Will Johnson 20 yards out, the Timbers captain somehow managed to shoot wide.

Portland finally equalized in the 80th minute. Darlington Nagbe's shot from the top of the area was saved by Johnson, but the ball was spilled right into the feet of Gaston Fernandez, who had a simple job to finish and level the scoreline.

The Fire ran into more trouble late in the game, when Patrick Nyarko, who came on as a sub, was shown two yellow cards and became the first player sent off in the 2014 MLS season, the second offense being a needless midfield takedown on Diego Chara.

The Fire pick up their first point of the season, going to 0-1-1, while Portland's second draw puts it on 0-0-2 for the year.

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