Toronto FC rallies to tie Portland 2-2

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by Associated Press

NWCN.com

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 10:35 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Peri Marosevic and Danny Koevermans scored goals during the final 20 minutes Saturday night to rally Toronto FC to a 2-2 tie with the Portland Timbers.

The Timbers built a 2-0 lead 57 minutes into the game on goals by Eddie Johnson and Jack Jewsbury before faltering down the stretch.

Portland (6-10-4, 22 points) is 0-4-2 in its past six games at Jeld-Wen Field. Portland's last home win was May 21 over Columbus.

"Offensively at times, we were magnificent. Defensively at times, not good enough," Portland coach John Spencer said.

The Timbers have given up second-half leads in three of their past four home games.

"I told the guys in the locker room, I can only keep papering up the cracks for so long. Bitterly, bitterly disappointing," Spencer said.

Toronto (3-11-10, 19) remained winless in 12 road games this season. Toronto ended a four-game losing streak, but has won only once in its past 15 games.

"When you come back and make it 2-2, it's very good, but honestly, you have to win the game because you've lost two points," Toronto coach Aron Winter said.

Portland dominated the offensive play during the first half and the early stages of the second. The Timbers took a 1-0 when Johnson took a centering pass just outside the penalty box and blasted a shot into the left corner during the 23rd minute for his first goal of the season.

Jewsbury staked Portland to a 2-0 lead on a penalty kick during the 57th minute. Toronto's Andy Iro fouled Diego Chara in the penalty area, setting up Jewsbury's goal.

Toronto sliced the Timbers' lead in half in the 71st minute when Marosevic ripped a 20-yard shot past Portland goalie Troy Perkins. Koeverman scored the equalizer in the 82nd minute when he took a cross near the goal and finished with a short-range shot.

"Words can't describe how this feels. We regrouped ourselves. This team has character. We worked hard, never gave up and it showed in the second half," Marosevic said.

Spencer said the tie was another growing pains lesson for his expansion team. He thought the Timbers were often too aggressive in their offensive attack after they built a 2-0 lead.

"We try to play 100 mph sometimes, and that's not possible," Spencer said.

Next up for Portland is a home game Wednesday against Western Division leader Los Angeles. Toronto plays on the road for the fifth time in six games Saturday at DC United.
 

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