LAFC traveled to Portland, looking for their fourth straight win, second on the road. Up against one of their Conference rivals, the Portland Timbers, with just a couple points separating the two teams in the standings. Both sides are in a battle for one of the four playoff spots up for grabs, and Portland’s 2-1 win at home, was definitely a set-back for the black and gold.
Both teams got off to a fast start. LAFC had several good looks on goal early, with none better than a Brian Rodriguez attempt from close range, that went sailing over the goal. The missed opportunities would bite the black and gold, as Portland took the lead early, after a series of headers from both sides.
Header. Header. Header. Bar. Header. GOAL.— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 20, 2021
Dairon Asprilla with the opener for @TimbersFC. pic.twitter.com/r2w4pGq0Fj
The lead wouldn't last long though, as a handball call during an LAFC free-kick resulted in a penalty, in favor of the visitors. Man of the month, Chicho Arango, stepped up to the spot, and added yet another goal to his growing tally.
Cristian Arango converts the penalty to equalize for @LAFC! pic.twitter.com/C6LJvMxyLt— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 20, 2021
The teams would go into the halftime break even at one goal each, with the intensity of the match increasing as the first half came to an end. In what was a welcome change, LAFC came out for the second half strong. Keeping possession, stifling the Timbers’ attack, and creating clear chances on several occasions. Unfortunately, they were unable to convert those chances.
In the 68th minute, Portland converted one, of their few, chances in the second half, to take the lead. The black and gold had a few more looks at goal to close out the match, but in the end, failing to take advantage of opportunities resulted in a Timbers win, and a blow to LAFC’s postseason push.
The loss puts LAFC in eighth, just outside of the playoffs. With only nine matches left, the team can't afford to go on a losing streak now. They remain on the road next weekend, as they take on the San Jose Earthquakes, Saturday, Sept 25th.
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