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Timbers Extend Unbeaten Run to Eight, Earn Draw at FC Dallas

By Portland Timbers



PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 23: Darlington Nagbe #6 of the Portland Timbers puts a short on goal during the first half of the game against AIK at Jeld-Wen Field on February 23, 2013 in Portland, Oregon
PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 23: Darlington Nagbe #6 of the Portland Timbers puts a short on goal during the first half of the game against AIK at Jeld-Wen Field on February 23, 2013 in Portland, Oregon

Portland remains unbeaten on road with 1-1 draw against MLS leader FC Dallas.

Forward Darlington Nagbe scored his third goal of the season and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made four saves as the Portland Timbers earned a 1-1 draw against MLS leader FC Dallas at FC Dallas Stadium on Wednesday to extend their unbeaten streak to an MLS-best eight games.

Portland and FC Dallas, two of the top clubs in the Western Conference, entered the match each on a string of seven-match unbeaten streaks. FC Dallas trailed at home for the first time this season when Nagbe lifted the Timbers to a 1-0 lead in the 70th minute. FC Dallas then took advantage of a penalty kick awarded seven minutes later and forward Kenny Cooper converted the attempt to tie the match at 1-1.

The Timbers (3-1-6, 15pts) remain the only club in MLS that is unbeaten on the road this season and extend their overall club-record road unbeaten string to six games dating back to the 2012 campaign. Portland sits in third place in the Western Conference.

Nagbe becomes the Timbers’ MLS career leader in goal-scoring with his 11th career goal. Midfielder Rodney Wallace registered his first assist of the season and Ricketts recorded three of his four saves in the second half to help Portland earn its second result in its last three visits to FC Dallas Stadium.

Cooper scored his second goal of the season on the penalty-kick attempt, midfielder Fabian Castillo recorded three shots and goalkeeper Raúl Fernández made three saves for FC Dallas (6-1-3, 21pts), who, with the draw, dropped  their first points at home this season. FC Dallas had won each of their first five home matches to open the 2013 campaign.

Portland claimed the lead 20 minutes from time, scoring its eighth goal on the road this season, which is tied for second-most in MLS. Wallace chipped a pass from the left side of the box across the penalty area, where Nagbe was on the back side and volleyed a bouncing shot by Fernández inside the right post.

The go-ahead strike by Nagbe was the first goal allowed by FC Dallas at home since March 17, ending a run of 347 consecutive shutout minutes at home, and marked the first time in 10 games this season in which FC Dallas conceded the opening goal of a match.

Referee Juan Guzman issued a yellow card to Portland defender Andrew Jean-Baptiste inside the box during play away from the ball in the 76th minute as the Timbers attempted to clear out an FC Dallas threat. The yellow set up a penalty-kick opportunity for the home side and Cooper was able to beat a diving Ricketts to the right side of the goal to tie the match at 1-1.

Ricketts made clutch save in the final minutes of the match to preserve the draw, tipping a deflected shot by Cooper from just beyond the top of the box over the goal in the 86th minute.

In the first half, Timbers midfielder Diego Chara made a perfectly-timed tackle just inside the box on FC Dallas midfielder David Ferreira charging in on goal to put an end to scoring chance by the home side in the 32nd minute.

Making his first start for the Timbers, forward Frederic Piquionne had one of his three first-half shot attempts tipped by Fernández off the left post in the 19th minute. FC Dallas striker Raul Perez had a header from near the penalty spot also rattle of the woodwork in the 67th minute.