PORTLAND, Ore. (AP)Santiago Moreno scored in the 27th minute and the Portland Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to nine games with a 1-1 draw against Nashville on Wednesday night.
The Timbers’ last loss was on May 28. Over nine games they’ve gone 4-0-5.
”We’re playing in really good shape right now. These games are not easy, but we just have to keep pushing,” Moreno said through a translator.
Teal Bunbury scored for Nashville, which finished with its third straight draw.
Both Western Conference teams are angling for a spot in the MLS playoffs. Nashville (8-7-10) is above the line in the standings in sixth, while the Timbers (7-6-11) are eighth, just behind Seattle. Both Portland and Nashville have just 10 games left in the regular season.
”It looked like there was some belief in the group that we could actually win the game tonight which was terrific,” Nashville coach Gary Smith said. ”And I think barring one or two decisions that I felt should have gone our way, and that little bit of luck, we may well have come away with all three points.”
Portland was short-handed. Claudio Bravo and Eryk Williamson sat out because of hamstring injuries. The Timbers were also without Diego Chara and Dairon Asprilla because of yellow card accumulation.
”We have to make sure that we don’t lose. On days like today, we can be a little bit greedy and say we wanted the three points, we needed the three points, because we do, but I think based upon where we were and the needs that we had, extremely proud of the work that the guys put in,” Timbers coach Giovanni Savarese said.
Bunbury scored in the 20th minute, and Moreno equalized some seven minutes later.
Nathan Fogaca nearly scored on a breakaway for the Timbers in stoppage time, but the ball sailed into the side netting.
Alex Muyl and Daniel Lovitz were back in the starting lineup for Nashville after missing its last game because of yellow cards.
Defender Shaq Moore made his second appearance for Nashville after joining the team from Spanish second-division club Tenerife. Moore has made 15 appearances for the United States, including two this year as the team qualified for the World Cup.
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