Portland comes out guns blazing at the beginning of this one. RSL feels a bit disconnected, especially along our back line. With our two draftees on the pitch, that’s to be expected. Luke Mulholland is zipping around the field and getting himself into great positions to win the ball. There’s a scrap between Mulholland and Alvas Powell; Yura steps in (accidentally puts a hand to Powell’s throat!?), yellows for all.
In the 36th minute, Powell sends in a great pass to Nagbe who zips it to Mattocks. Rimando saves the shot, but Valeri smacks in the rebound.
We don’t see as much of Rusnák as he acclimates, but when he gets on the ball his passing looks crisp. He puts together a strong attack and clips the ball off to Yura who takes a strong shot that’s spectacularly blocked by Gleeson; however, play halts for a Video Assistant Referee review.
The VAR review is bulky; it feels like it really puts a long pause to the game.
Diego Chara is subsequently given a red for an elbow to Movsisyan’s head. Plata takes the resulting free kick and buries a killer goal. Let’s hope we see a bunch of this from him this season.
In the 45th minute, Mattocks blows past Maund, passes to Blanco whose shot is cleared by a backtracking Schmidt. Timbers fire a rebound shot that careens off Allen’s hand. Valeri smashes home the resulting PK. RSL 1 - 2 Portland heading into the half.
RSL attacks much harder in second half with the Timbers down a man. Portland counters and Mattocks buries a goal as the RSL defense is discombobulated.
Rusnák feeds the ball into the box that’s met with a poor clearance. It falls to Mulholland’s feet and he bangs it in for a goal.
Both teams swap out their rosters on the field with mass substitutions. In the 67th minute, the ball falls to Omar Holness’s feet and he rips off a long shot into the net.
There’s some good interplay by the younger guys on the field and they push against an undermanned Portland squad.
The match ends in a 3-3 draw.