First Touch

New York City FC Tie Again In Portland

New York City FC recorded a point on the road against Portland Timbers on Saturday night. In a game of few chances the opening goal arrived in the 38th minute when Evander put the Timbers ahead with an effort from the edge of the penalty area. NYCFC drew level early in the second half thanks to a bullet header from Keaton Parks. Neither side could find the decisive goal and so both took a point away with them.

Portland Timbers midfielder Santiago Moreno & Justin Haak
Portland Timbers midfielder Santiago Moreno & Justin Haak. Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Portland Timbers 1 NYCFC 1

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Providence Park played host to a meeting between the Portland Timbers and NYCFC on Saturday, with both sides eager to record a win.

Head Coach Nick Cushing made five changes to the side that tied with Atlanta United midweek; introducing Matt Freese, Maxime Chanot, Kevin O’Toole, Mitja Ilenič, and Talles Magno in place of Luis Barraza, Tony Alfaro, Braian Cufré, Stephen Turnbull, and Richy Ledezma.

Santiago Moreno (30) reacts after missing a shot on goal during the second half against New York City at Providence Park. Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 24, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers midfielder Santiago Moreno (30) reacts after missing a shot on goal during the second half against New York City at Providence Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

First Half

The game started at a quick pace with NYCFC’s early opportunities coming via breakaways. Santiago Rodríguez, playing as a number, took up several dangerous positions between the lines, but was unable to turn those into clear cut chances.

That changed in the 22nd minute some quick feet by Talles Magno earned NYCFC a freekick. Rodríguez stood over the ball, but his effort was blocked by the wall.

Portland were growing into the game, and in the 38th minute that pressure produced a goal – Evander finding the net with an effort from the top of the penalty box.

It was almost two two minutes later when Franck Boli found himself with an opportunity from close range, but Freese was able to smother the effort before Chanot cleared the loose ball.

As the first half drew to a close some clever play down the left by O’Toole allowed Talles Magno to drive a low cross in, but Keaton Parks was blocked from making contact with the ball.

Keaton Parks
Keaton Parks (55) scores during the second half Photo: Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Second Half

The second half brought with it a change for NYCFC as Gabriel Pereira departing the match to be replaced by Matías Pellegrini.

It wouldn’t take long for Pellegrini to be involved in proceedings in a major way after NYCFC earned a free kick on the left hand side.

The Argentinian whipped in a delicious delivery and on the end of his cross was met by a towering Keaton Parks who headed the ball into the net to draw the sides level.

The Boys in Blue were now riding full of momentum and that saw them engineer two chances in two minutes. The first of those fell to Talles Magno, with his header well saved by Aljaz Ivacic.

Moments later, Kevin O’Toole almost caught Ivacic out with a deep delivery that looped high into the sky and towards goal – the shot stopper managing to claw it away to safety.

The chances continued to flow, and some delightful combination play by Rodríguez and Talles Magno on the edge of the box allowed the Uruguayan to whip a shot at goal that ended up only narrowly wide.

Crosses into the box were proving a dangerous avenue for NYCFC. A free kick on the right in the 72nd minute granted Pellegrini another chance to be influential, but his attempt didn’t trouble the goalkeeper.

The 80th minute saw Cushing turn to his bench for the second time as he introduced Stephen Turnbull in place of Ilenič.

New York City Hold On

NYCFC had a heart in mouth moment in the 85th minute after some pinball in the box saw the ball fall to Santiago Moreno, but he screwed the effort wide from 12 yards out.

Andres Jasson would be handed the opportunity to make an impact from the bench when he replaced Talles Magno in the 86th minute. 

As the clock ticked towards the 95th minute Portland were handed one final chance from a set piece that Evander stepped up to take. The Brazilian bent it around the wall and saw his effort clip the outside of Freese’s post. 

That would be the final act of the game and confirm a point for both sides on the night.

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Next Game

New York City Football Club are back in action next Saturday as they take on CF Montréal. The clash kicks off at 7:30pm ET on July 1.

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