LAFC ekes out draw with Portland Timbers via goal in stoppage time

LAFC faced an uphill battle, trailing 1-0 on the second bicycle kick goal in two weeks by the Portland Timbers' Yimmi Chara, and with star forward Carlos Vela subbed out as a precaution for an injury to open the second half.

The home side was gifted a red card for Portland, however, and had plenty of quality opportunities to at least earn a draw. LAFC got it in the third minute of second half stoppage time thanks to Mamadou "Mbacke" Fall, and the Timbers and LAFC drew 1-1 Sunday night in Los Angeles.

The match turned in the 62nd minute. Timbers defender Claudio Bravo stuck his arm out to impede Cristian Arango of LAFC (1-0-1, 4 points) for his second yellow card of the game, thus drawing a red card and ejection.

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That forced Portland (0-0-2, 2 points) to play a man down the rest of the way, and the Timbers were shown seven yellow cards for the match. Even head coach Gio Savarese got one in the second half.

But the Timbers survived attack after attack, until right near the end.

The Timbers had better chances early on, with Chara's shot saved by LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau in the 13th minute. But try as he might, Crepeau could not recover in time to stop Chara's acrobatics in the 18th.

Just prior to that, LAFC was forced to make an early substitution with defender Franco Escobar leaving due to injury and being replaced by Ryan Hollingshead.

Hollingshead was one of the main acquisitions for LAFC before this season, coming from FC Dallas. Crepeau came from the Vancouver Whitecaps and midfielder Kellyn Acosta from the Colorado Rapids.

In the 33rd minute, Vela came alive before his surprise exit. Operating on the right flank, his shot whistled toward the net but was saved by Portland goalkeeper Aljaz Ivacic.

Then Vela took a free kick from just outside the top of the 18-yard box in the 37th minute, and it just missed going under the crossbar before sailing behind the goal.