The Portland Timbers and the Columbus Crew weren’t able to get the three points they desired on Saturday night but the two clubs were able to avoid a loss, drawing 0-0 at Jeld-Wen Field. Portland had the better of the run of play but solid goalkeeping by Columbus’ Andy Gruenebaum gave the visitors a fighting chance.
Columbus (2-4-2, 8 points) has not scored a goal in its last two matches. The Timbers (2-5-2, 8 points) join the Crew in this offensive futility, as they’ve also not found the net in two consecutive contests.
The clubs opened the match with a lengthy probing period, with neither registering a shot until the 16th minute. Possession was choppy and disjointed with counterattacks being the only near-chances of note. Rodney Wallace registered the best chance of the early going, launching a 25-yard rocket to the far corner. Gruenebaum was able to extend and make a very good save to keep the match scoreless.
Columbus had a nice spell of possession in Portland’s end around the 26-27 minute mark, generating a few good cracks at goal in the process. Milovan Mirosevic collected a pass inside the Timbers’ six-yard box but was unable to get a clean shot off and the Portland defense cleared it out for a corner. Josh Williams then had a great chance on the ensuing corner, hitting a strong left-footed shot which beat Troy Perkins but was saved off the line by Diego Chara.
The clubs played to a scoreless first half. Portland held an edge in the run of play but the Crew out-shot the Timbers 3-2.
Columbus was lucky to not give up a goal in the first five minutes of the second half, as the Crew came out of the locker room absolutely sleepwalking. Portland nearly took advantage of this sloppy possession and sluggish play on numerous occasions but the Crew was able to escape unscathed.
A number of chances were created around the 67th minute of the match. Williams hit a sharp header on target which Perkins was able to save and Kris Boyd missed a snap header wide by a few feet not more than a moment later.
Portland will next be in action at Houston on May 15 while Columbus will host FC Dallas on May 12.
Portland – Lovel Palmer (3) 50’
Columbus – Sebastian Miranda (1) 56’
Portland – Franck Songo’o (2) 74’
Portland – Diego Chara (1) 77’
Columbus Crew: Gruenebaum, Miranda, Gehrig, Williams, Vukovic (Francis 84’), Gaven, O’Rourke, Mirosevic, Tchani, Renteria (Anor 79’), Finlay (Meram 79’)
Portland Timbers: Perkins, Jewsbury, Mosquera, Danso, Chabala, Songo’o (Alexander 75’), Palmer, Chara, Wallace (Fucito 82’), Nagbe, Boyd