Ryan Johnson Hat Trick Paces Timbers in 3-3 Draw with Earthquakes
PORTLAND, Ore. - Forward Ryan Johnson scored a hat trick and midfielder Diego Valeri recorded a pair of assists as the Portland Timbers battled the San Jose Earthquakes to a 3-3 draw in a preseason match before 14,229 fans Sunday evening as part of the Portland Preseason Tournament at JELD-WEN Field.
Johnson scored twice in the first half to help the Timbers (3-1-1 preseason) overcome an early deficit and take a 2-1 lead in the 27th minute, but Earthquakes defender Victor Bernardez knotted the score at 2-2 with a header off a free kick just before halftime. Johnson then capped his hat trick with the go-ahead strike early in the second half only to have San Jose (3-2-1 preseason) again find the equalizer in the 60th minute and the match finished locked at 3-3.
The Earthquakes staked an early 1-0 lead in the third minute on a converted penalty kick by forward Chris Wondolowski. Portland defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste was called for a handball inside the penalty area, setting up the penalty kick.
Portland was able to equalize minutes later on a well-placed header by Johnson. Midfielder Kalif Alhassan crossed the ball from along the end line on the right side in on the near post. Johnson headed a floating shot over the reach of Earthquakes goalkeeper Jon Busch and the ball dropped in under the crossbar to tie the score at 1-1.
Johnson became the Timbers' first multiple-goal scorer of the 2013 preseason with a second goal in the 27th minute. On the receiving end of a perfectly-weighted ball from midfielder Diego Valeri at the top of the box, Johnson charged in on goal with only Busch in front of him. Johnson slotted the ball in the lower left corner of the goal to lift the Timbers to a 2-1 lead.
A free kick by Earthquakes midfielder Shea Salinas on the left side led to Bernardez's goal in the 39th minute, tying the match at 2-2. Bernardez was the first to a lofted ball by Salinas into the center of the penalty area, and the defender nodded it inside the left post.
Portland regained the lead in the 52nd minute on Johnson's third goal of the night. On a run down the right side, Johnson was the first to a through ball played into the final third by Valeri. Johnson chipped a shot from the top of the box over Busch, charging off his line, and the ball fell into an open net, giving the Timbers a 3-2 lead.
San Jose leveled the match a second time in the 60th minute on Fucito's goal. An initial shot by midfielder John Bostock from inside the box was stopped by a diving save from Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts, but Fucito was in position to put away the rebound from close range.
Portland's Will Johnson nearly drove a diving header, off a cross from the right side by Ryan Miller, into the top far corner of the goal in the 21st minute, but Busch came up with a diving save tipping the ball over the cross bar; Busch finished with three saves on the night.
The Timbers face FC Dallas in their next preseason match Wednesday as part of the Portland Preseason Tournament at JELD-WEN Field; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available through the JELD-WEN Field box office and online at www.portlandtimbers.com. A live stream of the match will be available at www.portlandtimbers.com.
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