KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) – Dairon Asprilla converted a penalty kick in the 85th minute to give Portland a contentious 2-2 draw with Sporting Kansas City on Sunday night, keeping the Timbers in line for a playoff spot.
Asprilla was given the opportunity for his first goal after Ilie Sanchez fouled Jeremy Ebobisse in the penalty area. Sanchez drew a red card for his efforts, the third issued in the game, including a record-breaking red for KC teammate Roger Espinoza.
The point moved Portland (13-13-7) one point up on Dallas and two on San Jose, which is a point out of playoff position, with one game to play. San Jose plays at Portland next Sunday.
Portland took the lead in the 29th minute when Sebastian Blanco pounced on a loose ball and put it over two defenders off the cross bar for his fifth goal. But it only took a minute for Kansas City to get the equalizer. Johnny Russell put a cross into the box and Kristian Nemeth got a head on it to send it into the bottom corner for his eighth goal.
The game turned when Portland’s Brian Fernandez, dribbling down the left side, was taken down by Felipe Gutierrez in the 35th minute. Words and shoves were exchanged and both earned yellow cards. Espinoza raced in and pushed a Portland player in the throat. Fernandez was then shown another card for an ejection and after a review, Espinoza was shown the red card.
For Espinosa it was his MLS record 11th red of his career, breaking a tie with Jamison Olaves. He also joined 12 other players for most reds in a season with three. Meanwhile, Fernandez will miss Portland’s crucial finale.
In the 46th minute, KC’s Gianluca Busio sent a shot off the post but the deflection came out to Daniel Salloi who buried the rebound for his first goal of the season.