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The Portland Timbers achieved a stunning 1-1 draw in the closing stages of their road match at Columbus Crew

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The Portland Timbers are not in denial of results on this crucial late-season weekend. And they have a dazzling young midfielder, Santiago Moreno, to thank for the loading point.

Portland secured a 1–1 draw at Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon thanks to Moreno’s rocket goal in the final seconds of stoppage time. The Timbers (11-8-13, 46 points) moved up to fifth in the Western Conference with a draw, one point behind Minnesota United and one point behind Nashville SC with two games to go. I leave

Timbers manager Giovanni Savarese said: “We didn’t manage to keep the ball well in the first half. The problem was that we weren’t able to keep possession of the ball and that we weren’t good at making decisions when switching points of attack.

Columbus dominated the first half, dominating the Timbers 62-38 and beating them 9-3.

Crews attacks were often triggered by Cucho Hernandez, who started with an open look over the crossbar at 2 minutes. In the 10th minute, Diego Chara fouled Hernandez to create a dangerous set-piece, but in the end Columbus went empty.

Two yellow cards were dealt in the 10th and 25th minutes, the first to Columbus’ Aidan Morris for a challenge on Diego Chara and the second for an accidental kick to the face of a Columbus defender. It was handed over to Imi Chara.

In the 28th minute, Hernandez made another move and fired a long-range shot that went just wide of the goal frame. A minute later, on the other side, Dairon Asprilla missed a header on a feed from Sebastian Blanco — a rare offensive opportunity for Portland wasted.

Columbus finally scored in the 36th minute. Kevin Molino fended off the frozen Asprilla and with no backup behind Portland’s right wing-back, Molino scored easily to make the crew 1-0 he was.

In the 39th minute, Asprilla hit a long shot for Portland, and in the 44th minute, Yumi Chara missed a nice pass from Blanco. Before halftime was mostly dominated, Portland added another yellow card as Bill Tuiloma picked up one.

“We knew it was going to be a difficult match,” Moreno said in Spanish. “Thanks to the coach’s direction, after the first half, I was able to match what the coach saw that I might not have seen on the field. I had the determination to score points.”

Portland entered the second half with more tension and more promising scoring. In the 58th minute, Moreno delivered a perfect ball to streaking Yimmi Chara, but was well saved by Columbus keeper Eloy Room.

Room made another impressive save a minute later as Eric Williamson’s corner kick hit Tuiloma’s head, allowing him to go on target. Moreno also slammed two corners into the room in the 62nd minute.

Larrys Mabiara, who replaced the suspended Zach McGraw, received a yellow card in the 66th minute. Portland brought on Jaroslaw Niezgoda for Branko in the 68th minute and Moreno was shown a yellow card in the 71st minute.

Hernandez created two chances in the 75th and 78th minutes, but neither could find the net. Molino appeared to score Columbus’ second goal in the 81st minute, but he was only slightly offside.

Portland brought in three substitutes in the 82nd minute. Newcomers Juan Mosquera replacing Mabiara (Mosquera’s debut), Imi Marvin Loria replacing His Chara, and Christian Paredes replacing Williamson. Nathan Fogasa replaced Diego Chara in the 88th minute.

The Timbers shared chances in the second half, but in the 95th minute, just as the referee was about to blow the whistle to end the game, Moreno made a beautiful curve from outside the penalty area. One final scoreline.

“Scoring goals is always pure happiness, especially in those situations,” said Moreno. “We worked hard during the game to score. I always want to help my teammates and have fun on the field.

The Timbers will have time to breathe and soak up this all-important result before their next contest, their home match against LAFC on October 2nd. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 PM at Providence Park (TV on ABC).

— Ryan Clarke,, Twitter: @RyanTClarke