The Portland Timbers scored a stunning 1-1 late-game tie at Columbus Crew

The Portland Timbers He will not be denied a score at the crucial end of the season this weekend. And they have an impressive young midfielder Santiago Moreno Let’s thank him for the waypoint.

Portland drew 1-1 at Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon thanks to a missile from Moreno’s goal in the final seconds of stoppage time. Timbers (11-8-13, 46 points) climbed to fifth in the Western Conference in a tie, one point ahead of Minnesota United and one point behind Nashville with two games remaining on their schedule.

“We weren’t very good at keeping the ball in the first half,” said Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese. “We defended well. We didn’t allow them to create much in the first half. … In general, we managed it very well defensively. The problem is that we didn’t hold the ball and didn’t make good decisions in converting the attacking point, going forward.”

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

The crew’s attack was often sparked by Cucho Hernandez, who began in the second minute with an open look as he sailed over the bar. In the tenth minute, Diego Chara Hernandez missed, and created a dangerous opportunity for the free kick that eventually came empty to Columbus.

A pair of yellow cards were delivered in the tenth and twenty-fifth minutes: the first to Lidan Morris, the Columbus player, for his challenge to Diego Chara, and the second to Yemei Chara for a cross kick in the face of the Columbus defender.

In the 28th minute, Hernandez returned to action and fired a long shot that missed the goal. A minute later, on the other end, Dairon Asprilla missed a header from Sebastian Blanco – a rare attacking opportunity for Portland that missed.

Columbus finally cracked the scoring in the 36th minute. Kevin Molyneux managed to get past a frozen Asbrella, and with no support behind the Portland right-back that day, Molyneux scored easily to give the team a 1-0 lead.

Asprilla smashed a shot wide of the net in the 39th minute for Portland, and Yimmi Chara missed a nice pass from Blanco in the 44th minute. Before heading towards the end of the first half after being largely dominated by Portland, Portland added another yellow card as Bill Tuiluma picked one.

“We knew it was going to be a tough match and I think we saw it in the first minutes of the match,” Moreno said in Spanish. “Thanks to our coach’s instructions, we were able to adapt to what he saw that we might not have been able to see on the field after the first half. We had the determination to get a point.”

Portland came out in the second half with an increased sense of urgency, placing himself in more promising positions to score. In the 58th minute, Moreno put a neat ball in the direction of Yemei Chara, but the ball was saved by Columbus goalkeeper Eloy Rom.

Chamber saved again impressively a minute later as Eric Williamson’s corner kick met Tuiluma’s header, who was able to drive it into goal. Moreno also had a couple of hits out of the room in the 62nd minute.

Larez Mabiala – who was filling in the place of suspended Zach McGraw – was shown a yellow card in the 66th minute. Portland fetched Yaroslav Nezgoda for Blanco in the 68th minute, and Moreno received his own yellow card in the 71st minute.

Hernandez had two chances in the 75th and 78th minutes, and neither of them scored a goal. At 81, Molyneux appeared to score Columbus’ second goal, but it was just offside.

Portland brought in three substitutes in the 82nd minute: new signing Juan Mosquera for Mabiala (Musqueira’s debut), Marvin Luria for Yemi Chara, and Kritian Paredes for Williamson. In the 88th minute, they brought in Nathan Fugaka for Diego Chara, hoping to add more offensive prowess.

The Timbers had their share of chances, but it was Jamal Moreno’s superb from outside the penalty area in the 95th minute – just as the referee was about to blow his whistle and end the game – who made the match up to an astonishing level. 1 line end result.

“It’s always a pure happiness for me to score, and even more so under the circumstances,” Moreno said. “We were working hard during the match to be able to score. I always just wanted to help my teammates and have fun on the field, and we were able to do that.”

The Timbers have some time to breathe and enjoy this pivotal result ahead of their next competition, a home game against LAFC on October 2.

— Ryan Clark, rclarke@oregonian.com, Twitter: Tweet embed

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