Match Recap | Late Portland Score Leave Loons Stunned


A depleted Loons' side came into Saturday night’s matchup with the Timbers hoping to, at the very least, take a point on the road from a Portland team that’s hit its stride as of late. Three points would have been an even better takeaway from our time with the Timbers, but a positive result would have been the first step in getting the Loons back to their winning ways after dropping three in a row heading into tonight.

And, at the start it did appear that the Loons may have the spark they needed to get off the schneid and add at least some points to their cause in the Western Conference standings. Unfortunately, Portland wasn’t about to let MNUFC’s strong first-half performance be the main story in this one, as the Timbers would storm back in the second half to take a stoppage-time lead.

After a beautiful setup by Joseph Rosales, Bongi Hlongwane would draw first blood for the Loons with his close-range putaway in the 29th minute of the first half, to put the boys on the board, 1-0, COYL. And, the South African sensation would make his presence felt again in the 38th minute when he would boot a beautiful cross to a sprinting Sang Bin Jeong, who would hammer it home and put the Loons up two scores. While the Timbers would answer the bell in the dying minutes of first half stoppage time to make it a 2-1 score, following DJ Taylor's third conceded penalty this season, the Loons still felt as if they had the momentum going into the half.

Portland would entirely flip the script on the boys in the second half, however, with the first crack in the armor coming in the 73rd minute when Santiago Moreno’s left-footed boot would put the Timbers just one score behind heading into the home stretch. The dagger in the heart of MNUFC would come in stoppage time when Jonathan Rodriguez would strike off the assist from Diego Chará. The late goal would rob the Loons of a chance to pick up any points to help their cause in the conference standings, and leave them hoping for some of the cavalry to coming riding in soon in the form of key players returning from injury and Copa América, as well as transfer-window acquisitions that can help reignite the spark seen earlier this season.