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Kah’s stoppage-time goal salvages draw for Timbers against nine-man Dallas

Pa Modou Kah ISI

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Pa Modou Kah scored a 94th-minute equalizer Wednesday as the Timbers came back from a two-goal deficit to draw with a FC Dallas side that ended the match with nine players on the field.

In the final MLS match before the World Cup, Fabian Castillo and Blas Perez scored first-half goals for FC Dallas, but late Will Johnson and Kah goals were enough for Portland to salvage the 2-2 draw in front of another sellout crowd at Providence Park.

Kah’s equalizer was a cap in a wild 15 final minutes that saw two goals, red cards to FC Dallas’ Moises Hernandez and Perez, Gaston Fernandez pinging the ball off a post and FC Dallas assistant coach Josema Bazan sent off after a dust-up near the Dallas bench with a fan.

Down a goal and playing against a team down two men, the Timbers went for broke sending everyone except Donovan Ricketts towards the goal. It paid off when the Kah chested down a Urruti pass in stoppage time, turned and fired the ball past Raul Fernandez. It was the Gambian’s first ever Major League Soccer goal. It was the fifth consecutive home game that the Timbers scored in the final five minutes of a match.

Despite another comeback, the Timbers know that another home draw (seven in nine home matches) is not what they wanted.

“We came out in the second half and it was much better, but it’s still bittersweet,” Johnson said. “On one hand it’s difficult to come back two goals and get a draw, but at the same time, it’s tough because there were some really good chances that we missed.”

Just two minutes before Kah’s goal, Perez was sent off for a rough challenge versus Kah. Perez received his marching orders, just minutes after Hernandez was sent off for a studs-up challenge on Danny O’Rourke.

Portland got its first goal when Fanedo Adi was tripped in the box by Je-Vaughan Watson and referee Alan Kelly pointed to the spot. After a lively discussion over who would take the spot-kick between Johnson and Gaston Fernandez, the Timbers captain eventually took the ball and easily scored when Raul Fernandez went the wrong way.

“It’s two passionate guys going for the ball, wanting to do the right thing for the team,” Johnson said. “Once we get back in here, I gave him a big hug. I respect him as a teammate, he’s been a great addition to the club.”

It was a tale of two halves as Dallas found numerous openings in the first 45, while a desperate Portland club threw bodies forward in the second half in search of goals. The first half saw Castillo continued his recent run-of-form, when he put his side ahead 27 minutes into the match. The 21-year-old Colombian, mid-sprint, chested down a Perez chipped pass and streaked by a helpless Rauwshan McKenzie before slotting the ball into the net. It was the second straight match with a goal for Castillo and his fifth tally of the season.

Dallas doubled its lead in the 39th minute when rookie Tesho Akindele dribbled the ball from his own half all the way to the Timbers penalty area, before finding multiple options at the top of the box. Castillo stepped over the ball and Perez blasted it home for his fifth goal of the season, tying him with Castillo and the injured Michel for the team lead.

FC Dallas used its speed to create numerous opportunities including its two goals and a shot that went off the post. The Timbers had little match for Akindele and Castillo until the halftime substitution of Danny O’Rourke for McKenzie.

“It was embarrassing,” Porter said in regards to the first half. “It was abysmal defending, but that will be corrected, no doubt about it.”

The red cards were not the only incident involving FC Dallas and the referee. Bazem, a FC Dallas assistant coach, was sent off for “not behaving in a responsible manner within the technical area,” according to Kelly. Bazem and other Dallas staff and players got into an argument with a fan next to the bench area after it appeared the fan doused them with liquid.

After the final whistle, an incensed Castillo charged at the assistant referee, bumping him, before being forcefully restrained by teammate Peter Luccin. Head Coach Oscar Pareja had no comment regarding the incident after the match.

The Timbers finished the match with 30 shots, the most recorded by a MLS team in a single game since the Miami Fusion had 30 in a 2001 match with the Kansas City Wizards.

“There were a good majority of guys that bailed us out and got us that draw,” Porter said.

While both teams won’t be in league action for more than two weeks, Portland (4-4-8, 20 points) will take on Orlando City Soccer Club’s U-23 side in the U.S. Open Cup fourth round at Providence Park on Tuesday. That same day, FC Dallas (6-7-4, 22 points) will host the San Antonio Scorpions.

“We’re not out of it, by any stretch, so that’s a positive,” Johnson said. “But we are not where we want to be with this club and this group of players, we should be higher.”


  1. Watched this game but due to some kind of DVR shenanigans my recording ended in the 91st minute (seconds before the Blas red). Anyone who says that the officiating wasn’t poor wasn’t watching the game, Chara should have gotten at least a yellow in the first for persistent fouls and there was at least one tackle I saw on Escobar that warranted a yellow. Aside from that, I watched what was called a no-foul tackle 3 or 4 times during the match get called a penalty when it happened in the box…Adi looked to me like he was looking to go down and was already on his way when the contact was made.

    Complaining about the refs aside, this was a good end-to-end match. Both sides need better finishing though, this could have easily been a 10 goal thriller. Thought both keepers looked pretty solid, and the Dallas backline looked way better than I would have expected with being such a makeshift defense. Thought Keel and Hernandez looked great all night until Moises was sent off and Stephen kept Kah onside for the equalizer (though i can’t really fault him for that, he was covering the line all night and appeared to be hobbling a bit when trying to push up the offside line).

    Disappointed though I may be, we’re still on the right track toward securing a playoff berth.

  2. Funny note on this match: Some Nike Soccer employees/ execs were sitting next to the FCD bench in the open table area of the park. They decided to throw water at the FCD bench and ended up getting the FCD goal coach ejected. Stay classy Nike!

    • It looks like Hernandez is trying to Maradona with the ball and O’Rourke sticks his foot in. Hernandez has his back to O’Rourke when contact is made. Not sure how this can be a red on Hernandez. If anything should be on O’Rourke.

  3. Do they still play on plastic in Portland? Then, sorry, not interested. Get real grass, then come back.

    Same for the Sounders…

    As for NE Revs, you just have to feel pity for them, get rid of the “franchise” altogether, as they are treated worse than a bastard child by their owner.

  4. It was an ugly game, and Portland was very fortunate to get a draw out of it. Dallas could have been up 4-0 in the first half if not for poor finishing. The two reds cards were harsh and gave the Timbers the help they needed to get a point out of it, but Dallas had many opportunities to put this game away and paid the price.

  5. The dirty little secret about Portland’s dodgy form is that Will Johnson has been mostly terrible. He showed up a bit unfit and was consistently a step slow in defense as well as with his passing. His fitness has improved, but his precision, timing, and decision-making have all been intermittently awful. He’s had some good moments too, without a doubt, but way too many gaffes. And watching him scream at Villifana for not getting to a hospital ball from him that was picked off and led directly to the second Dallas goal… Well, that was just sad.

    • I agree. He was very good last year, but I believe he appears to be resting on his laurels. He is not the same player as last year. As you say, his timing is not nearly what it was. He has fire in his belly to compete every game, but it appears he may not have paid the price in the off season to retain his strong run from last year.

      As to earlier comments by others about Porter…. its hard for me to tell if he is the problem or not. I don’t rate any of their forward options. Hernandez doesn’t have any quality, to me, that stands out as above average. He does seem to find space well, to be fair. And the defense gives us way too many good scoring opportunities. Whoever brings in the players may be more culpable than Porter. It’s hard to tell for me.

    • It’s no secret. WJ has been out of form this year and has been more of an ass to make up for it. CP needs to reign him in.

  6. That was an embarrassing game for the MLS and ESPN. Terrible play, terrible refs, terrible behavior by the players, coaches, and fans.

    • not terrible play or officiating (for once on the officiating). You cannot criticize the behavior of the players and then say the officiating was terrible unless you are a Dallas fanboy. All cards were reasonable.

      • If the red cards on FCD were reasonable, and they were, then how was Chara not carded at least twice for his play? And the refs missed two handballs in the final sequence.

        The ref was right to send off the Dallas players. But FCD is definitely right to feel like the ref didn’t call the game consistently as Chara could have easily picked up a couple of yellows during the game.

        Also, one of the Portland fans squirted water on one of the Dallas coaches. He then went after the fan and was ejected from the game. Just terrible behavior all the way around.

      • When should Chara have gotten a red card? He didn’t go in to any tackles studs up or stomp on another players groin.

      • I saw Perez’s red card on replay. After the Portland player kicked him in the back of his left foot he was slightly off balance… He was going to step somewhere…

        It wasn’t a stomp. He did step on him but the guy on the ground flailing his legs around on the ground should have had a yellow too if you are going to throw a red out there.

  7. I have Zip in my name because I’m a Caleb Porter fan, or at least used to be. More and more he does not impress. His Timbers teams do not play like his Zips teams. The resemblance was there initially but it is fading. He is being regularly out coached. Makes you wonder where the brains have been and are currently

  8. I thought that match was going to have a brawl at the end… Portland needs work on its finishing…could have had 5+ tonight


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