Bright Dike goal cancels DC penalty in 1-1 draw
The Portland Timbers have now gone well over a calendar year since seeing their last penalty kick awarded, which was July 30, 2011 against Toronto. But Timbers opponents still seem to be able to get those calls and an odd penalty kick for DC would put the visitors up in the second half, but Bright Dike would jump on a loose ball and score the equalizer to give the Timbers a 1-1 draw in front of another sold out crowd of 20,438 at Portland’s JELD-WEN Field.
There weren’t a lot of early chances, with both teams putting shots wide on their first few good looks at goal. Action really didn’t open up until the 28th minute, with Portland’s Franck Songo’o having the first shot on net, a low shot from 20 yards out that was smothered by DC goalkeeper Bill Hamid. The DC netminder would be called into action just a minute later when a low cross by Portland’s Sal Zizzo was knocked towards the goal by his own defender, with Hamid able to save the near own-goal.
DC had a great chance on a counterattack in the 34th minute, with Nick DeLeon cutting wide to get a good look from a tight angle, but put the shot well wide across the goal mouth. Portland’s Bright Dike had a great chance in the 41st minute when he intercepted a bad DC United back pass, and though he was able to position himself to get a good shot off his left foot, he slid the shot a yard wide past the right post.
In the 44th minute, a bizarre set of rebounds nearly put the Timbers on top when off a Timbers corner kick, DC was unable to clear when the ball hit twice off the center referee in quick succession, falling to the foot of Portland’s Darlington Nagbe, whose dipping shot was blocked by Hamid but not saved, with the ball rebounding towards the net, and Hamid just able to get to the ball before it crossed the line, and the first half would end as a scoreless one.
In the 57th minute DC had their first show that was on net, DeLeon’s dipping blast from 20 yards out being pushed past the post by Timbers goalkeeper Joe Bendik.
In the 60th minute DC United would take the lead when a penalty kick was awarded after a cross by Perry Kitchen appeared to slightly deflect off the underside of the arm of Timbers defender David Horst (or off his sleeve). Many players did not see the infraction and play continued for several seconds afterwards with DeLeon eventually blasting a shot over the crossbar. But the assistant referee had made the call though the central referee did not see it, but the penalty kick was awarded. Chris Pontius stepped up to take the kick and put it inside the left post to give DC a 1-0 lead.
In the 65th minute, Horst would have to retreat to make a great last second tackle when Lionard Pajoy slipped through, though he appeared to be a few yards offside, though the flag stayed down.
In the 70th minute, Portland’s Songo’o appeared to have cleverly made a clean interception when Hamid tossed the ball to punt it, though center referee Michael Kennedy did not agree and though there appeared to have been no contact, he gave Songo’o a yellow for his effort.
Then in the 79th minute, the Timbers would finally level, after taking control of a failed clearance attempt by Andy Najar. Nagbe played defender Steven Smith through on an overlapping run down the left side, with the Timbers defender playing a low cross that was stopped by the DC defense but not controlled. Portland’s Dike was the first to get to the ball and tapped it slightly wide before blasting into the roof of the net from a tight angle, and the Timbers had leveled the score at 1-1.
In the 87th minute, the Timbers had a great chance to take a late lead off a corner kick, with Mamadou Danso heading the ball back toward goal, with Songo’o in a position to redirect but instead put the ball over the crossbar from close range.
The Timbers would get a good chance in stoppage time, two minutes in, when a failed clearance fell to a wide open Songo’o, 20 yards out from goal, but his shot was well wide left, and neither team would threaten again, and the match would end at 1-1.
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