Timbers, FC Dallas play to 1-1 draw

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on March 18, 2012 at 1:08 AM

FRISCO, Texas (AP) -- Darlington Nagbe scored in the 51st minute to lift the Portland Timbers into a 1-1 tie with FC Dallas on Saturday night.

Blas Perez posted his first MLS goal in the 22nd minute for Dallas, which beat New York 2-1 in its season opener last Sunday. Perez had two assists against the Red Bulls.

Kris Boyd, a Scottish star playing just his second MLS game, had two good chances to give Portland the lead, but was denied by FC Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman in the 59th and 71st minutes.

Portland also rallied in its season opener, scoring three unanswered goals in an impressive 3-1 victory over Philadelphia on Monday.

"We started the game in a similar fashion last week," coach John Spencer said, "and started in the second half again believing in ourselves, trying to play our game, a little more up-tempo and I think they struggled to contain us at times."

The 21-year-old Nagbe capitalized on an FC Dallas mistake to collect his first goal of the year. After Hartman's high clearing attempt died about 20 yards out, it was inadvertently knocked back into the penalty area by midfielder Daniel Hernandez and Nagbe pounced on it, slotting a low shot just inside the left post.

"I just saw the ball go up and I was jogging back and once it hit the other team, I knew I was onside, so I just went there and finished it," Nagbe said. "There was no one in front of me, just me and the goalie."

Said Hartman: "The ball was cleared and then all of a sudden, to have it come back through the middle and have it be a breakaway situation, was disappointing to say the least."

Portland outshot Dallas 7-1 over the final 45 minutes. While the Timbers attributed the margin to playing with more energy, Dallas cited the strong wind blowing in their direction.

"We were going against the wind, which was kind of difficult for us," said Dallas defender George John, who entered the match to start the second half. "But they definitely brought a lot of pressure on us, the back four, and we had difficulty just keeping the ball and passing."

Hernandez nearly got another one for Dallas in the 73rd minute, but his 25-yard blast was punched over the crossbar by Portland goalkeeper Troy Perkins.

"I was really pleased with the effort the boys put in," Dallas coach Schellas Hyndman said. "I thought they matched the intensity that Portland brought and I think Portland's a very good team. I'm very happy we fought all the way down to the last second."

Dallas was without star forward Brek Shea for the second straight game after he was called to the U.S. under-23 men's national team training camp.

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