Timbers Secure Top Spot in Group F of MLS Is Back Tournament with 2-2 Draw against Los Angeles FC
ORLANDO, Fla. - The Portland Timbers rallied behind a late goal from Jeremy Ebobisse to earn a 2-2 draw against Los Angeles FC in their final match of group play at the MLS is Back Tournament, securing the top spot in Group F at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Thursday night. With the draw, Portland will square off against FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 on July 28. Jaroslaw Niezgoda opened the scoring with his first career goal for the Timbers in the seventh minute, while Ebobisse scored for a third consecutive match, notching the equalizer in the 81st minute.
Group F in Review
Portland (3-1-1, 10pts) posted a record of 2-0-1 (7pts) in three groups games as part of the MLS is Back Tournament to finish atop Group F. The Timbers were one of two teams (LAFC) to register multiple goals in all three of their group matches, receiving goals from four players (SebastiÃ¡n Blanco, Ebobisse, Niezgoda, Diego Valeri) and assists from six players (Blanco, Marvin LorÃa, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Valeri, Eryk Williamson).
# CLUB Pts GP W L T GF GA GD
1 Portland 7 3 2 0 1 6 4 2
2 LAFC 5 3 1 0 2 11 7 4
3 Houston 2 3 0 1 2 5 6 -1
4 LA Galaxy 1 3 0 2 1 4 9 -5
With the draw, Portland is unbeaten in its last four matches, posting a record of 3-0-1, dating back to March 8, 2020. During that stretch, the Timbers have outscored their opponents, 7-4. Individually, Ebobisse has scored in three straight matches, marking the first time Ebobisse has tallied a goal in three consecutive matches. Blanco has recorded an assist in three consecutive matches - the second time Blanco has recorded an assist in three straight contests in his career with Portland.
Niezgoda earned his first career start with Portland and recorded his first goal for the Timbers. Tuiloma recorded his first career assist for Portland, while LorÃa registered his first assist of the season. Cristhian Paredes and Marco Farfan both made their tournament debuts against LAFC, earning starts in the match. For Farfan, it was his first appearance with the Timbers in 2020. Additionally, Andy Polo made his first start of the competition.
POR - Jaroslaw Niezgoda (SebastiÃ¡n Blanco, Marvin LorÃa), 7th minute: From near the right sideline, Blanco played a perfectly-weighted through ball into space for Niezgoda, making a run to the edge of the box. Niezgoda received the pass and calmly slotted the ball past LAFC goalkeeper Pablo Sisniega from just inside the box.
LAFC - Bradley Wright-Phillips (Latif Blessing), 36th minute: Latif Blessing played the ball to Bradley Wright-Phillips, who fired a shot from near the edge of the box inside the left post.
LAFC - Mark-Anthony Kaye (Brian RodrÃguez), 40th minute: Brian RodrÃguez served a corner kick to the back post for Mark Anthony-Kaye, who deposited a header into the back of the net the from close range.
POR - Jeremy Ebobisse (Bill Tuiloma), 81st minute: Dario Zuparic directed a header toward goal off a Diego Valeri corner kick. An LAFC player cleared the initial header from Zuparic, but Tuiloma won the ball, sending a header back across the face of goal to Ebobisse, who directed the ball with a quick header inside the right post.
Portland's 10 points through five regular-season games is tied for the club's most points through five games in MLS play (2017).
The Timbers were one of just two teams (LAFC) to score multiple goals in all three of their group stage matches at the tournament.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda made his first career start and scored his first career goal for Portland in the match.
Niezgoda is the 10th Timbers player to score in his first MLS start with the club. He is the 58th different player to score for Portland in an MLS match.
SebastiÃ¡n Blanco registered an assist for a third consecutive match. It marks the second time Blanco has recorded an assist in three straight matches for Portland.
Blanco has 33 assists in league play in his Timbers career, which is the fifth-most on the club's all-eras list.
Blanco's three assists in MLS is Back Tournament play ranks tied for second in the competition.
Jeremy Ebobisse tallied a goal for a third straight match. Ebobisse's scoring streak marks the first time in his career that he has scored in three consecutive matches.
Ebobisse was one of two players to score in three different matches in group play in the tournament along with LAFC's Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Ebobisse has scored three goals against LAFC in all competitions, which ranks as the most of any Timbers player against LAFC.
Ebobisse's three goals in MLS is Back Tournament play ranks tied for third in the competition.
Bill Tuiloma tallied his first career assist for the Timbers.
Marco Farfan and Cristhian Paredes made their first appearance of the tournament. For Farfan, it was his first appearance of the 2020 season.
Marvin LorÃa recorded his first assist of the 2020 season in the match.
With assists from LorÃa and Tuiloma, seven players have recorded an assist this season for Portland through its first five matches.
Blanco, Diego Chara and Steve Clark started all three group games for Portland.
Portland takes on FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16 of the MLS is Back Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex on Tuesday, July 28; kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. (Pacific). The July 28 match features a national television broadcast on ESPN with local radio broadcasts on 750 The Game (English) and La GranD 1150AM/93.5 FM (Spanish).
Portland Timbers (3-1-1, 10pts) vs. Los Angeles FC (2-0-3, 9pts) - MLS is Back Tournament
July 23, 2020 - ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Orlando, Fla.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
LAFC 2 0 2
Portland Timbers 1 1 2
POR: Niezgoda (Blanco, LorÃa), 7
LAFC: Wright-Phillips (Blessing), 36
LAFC: Kaye (RodrÃguez), 40
POR: Ebobisse (Tuiloma), 81
POR: Duvall (caution), 29
POR: Blanco (caution), 54
LAFC: Atuesta (caution), 60
POR: Paredes (caution), 65
POR: GK Clark, D Duvall, D Tuiloma, D Zuparic, D Farfan (Villafaña, 89), M D. Chara ©, M Paredes (Williamson, 69), M LorÃa (Y. Chara, 46), M Blanco, M Polo (Valeri, 69), F Niezgoda (Ebobisse, 58)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Ivacic, D Cascante, D Bonilla, D Mabiala, M Conechny, M Zambrano, M Conechny, F Mora
TOTAL SHOTS: 7 (Ebobisse, Niezgoda, 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 15 (Blanco, 4); OFFSIDES: 2; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
LAFC: GK Sisniega, D Segura, D Palacios (El-Munir, 67), D Blackmon, M Blessing, M Ginella (Cifuentes, 67), M Kaye © (Duke, 79), M Atuesta, M Rossi, M RodrÃguez, M Wright-Phillips (Najar, 67)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Vermeer, GK Ejimadu, D Harvey, D Jakovic, D Silva, M Guido, F Musovski, F Torres
TOTAL SHOTS: 19 (Atuesta, RodrÃguez, 5); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (Three players tied, 1); FOULS: 10 (Blessing, El-Munir, 2); OFFSIDES: 0; CORNER KICKS: 4; SAVES: 1
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Matthew Nelson, Jose Da Silva
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Alex Chilowicz
Weather: Cloudy, 79 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial
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