Revolution gets late penalty kick for 2-2 draw with Portland

MLS
timbers revolution draw_437387

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – Jeremy Ebobisse scored a pair of goals for Portland but a stoppage-time penalty kick gave the New England Revolution a 2-2 draw with the Timbers on Wednesday night.

The Timbers (13-13-6) have just two victories in their last eight games – all of which have been played at home. Portland had gone 319 minutes without a goal before Ebobisse broke through with his first in the 49th minute.

Carles Gil converted on the penalty kick, awarded after video review. The draw extended the Revolution’s winless streak to five games.

Both teams were still on the bubble to make the playoffs with two games remaining. The Timbers went into the match sitting at eighth in the Western Conference and just outside playoff picture, while the Revolution (10-10-12) were just above the line in seventh in the East.

The Revolution came close in the 26th minute on Gustavo Bou’s free kick from just outside the penalty area. Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark dove to push the ball just wide, then jumped with his arms raised in celebration.

Ebobisse’s first goal came off a well-placed cross by Jorge Villafana. New England goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who started in place of Matt Turner, couldn’t reach it in time.

Ebobisse appeared to be looking for another header in the 81st minute off a cross from Sebastian Blanco, but he knocked it past Knighton with his foot. It was his 11th goal, tying him with Brian Fernandez for the team lead. Fernandez was not in the lineup because of a lingering illness that has limited him for the past five matches.

New England avoided the shutout with Bou’s goal in the 87th minute. VAR determined Larrys Mabiala fouled Wilfried Zahibo in stoppage time and Gil converted, beating Clark.

Revolution coach Bruce Arena made seven changes to his starting lineup for the midweek match.

New England was coming off a scoreless draw with Real Salt Lake, while the Timbers played to a scoreless draw with Minnesota last weekend.

The game came a day after Major League Soccer agreed to lift its ban on display of the Iron Front symbol. The symbol, featuring three arrows pointed down to the left, was used by an anti-Nazi paramilitary group in the 1930s.

MLS, citing a new fan code of conduct that prohibits political displays, banned the symbol. The league maintained it had been appropriated by antifa, or loosely organized groups of militant antifascists.

Supporters groups from both Portland and Seattle, which have displayed the symbol on flags and banners for many years, say the symbol represents opposition to fascism and persecution, human rights issues.

MLS lifted the ban on Tuesday after meetings with supporters groups and the Independent Supporters Council. The league also said it would form a working group to look at possible revision of the fan code of conduct for next season.

On Wednesday, a large Iron Front banner was hung in the North End in front of the Timbers Army.

Portland next visits Sporting Kansas City, which has already been eliminated from the playoffs, on Sunday. The Revolution host NYCFC the same day.

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