Revolution gets late penalty kick for 2-2 draw with Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Jeremy Ebobisse scored a pair of goals for Portland but a stoppage-time penalty kick gave the New England Revolution a 2-2 draw with the Timbers on Wednesday night.

The Timbers (13-13-6) have just two victories in their last eight games — all of which have been played at home. Portland had gone 319 minutes without a goal before Ebobisse broke through with his first in the 49th minute.

The Timbers were up 2-0 until Gustavo Bou’s goal narrowed it in the 87th minute and Carles Gil converted on the penalty kick, awarded after video review. The draw extended the Revolution’s winless streak to five games.

Both teams were still jockeying to make the playoffs with two games remaining. The Timbers went into the match sitting at eighth in the Western Conference and just outside playoff picture, but Philadelphia’s 2-1 victory over San Jose Wednesday night pushed Portland up the table to sixth.

The Revolution (10-10-12) were just above the line in seventh in the East.

Timber coach Giovanni Savarese stopped short of criticizing the officials, but the penalty was controversial and came well after the four minutes of stoppage time that had been added.

“I think we deserved it today. Played very well, created chances, put the ball in the back of the net. I just think that they’re going to make us suffer all the way until the end, because today was a very good game. … We deserved the three points. I think those three points were stolen from us, unfortunately,” Savarese said.

Revolution coach Bruce Arena was happy to get the point on the road.

“I think tonight was a really good game. Both teams played well. The game was fast, we created chances. I was a little disappointed in the goals we conceded but they came at us pretty hard and our players never quit and coming on at the end was really incredible,” Arena said. “As frustrated as our opponents are at the end with the penalty kick, it was a penalty kick. That’s one of the times that I would say that VAR did its job the right way.”

Ebobisse’s first goal came off a well-placed cross by Jorge Villafana. New England goalkeeper Brad Knighton, who started in place of Matt Turner, couldn’t reach it in time.

Ebobisse appeared to be looking for another header in the 81st minute off a cross from Sebastian Blanco, but he knocked it past Knighton with his foot. It was his 11th goal, tying him with Brian Fernandez for the team lead. Fernandez was not in the lineup because of a lingering illness that has limited him for the past five matches.

New England avoided the shutout with Gustavo Bou’s goal in the 87th minute. VAR determined Larrys Mabiala fouled Wilfried Zahibo in stoppage time and Gil converted, beating Clark.

Afterward, in a statement to the pool reporter, referee Jair Marrufo said the penalty was for a clear pull on Zahibo’s jersey, and additional time was added in stoppage time because of two substitutions and time wasting.

Ebobisee said he was disappointed by the draw.

“After seeing how some of the results went and where we stand on the table, I think we have to remain hopeful and take the good things out of it, fix the lapses we might have had and take it forward because we control our own destiny,” he said.

Arena made seven changes to his starting lineup for the midweek match.

The game came a day after Major League Soccer agreed to lift its ban on display of the Iron Front symbol. The symbol, featuring three arrows pointed down to the left, was used by an anti-Nazi paramilitary group in the 1930s.

MLS, citing a new fan code of conduct that prohibits political displays, banned the symbol. The league maintained it had been appropriated by antifa, or loosely organized groups of militant antifascists.

Supporters groups from both Portland and Seattle, which have displayed the symbol on flags and banners for many years, say the symbol represents opposition to fascism and persecution, human rights issues.

MLS lifted the ban on Tuesday after meetings with supporters groups and the Independent Supporters Council. The league also said it would form a working group to look at possible revision of the fan code of conduct for next season.

On Wednesday, a large Iron Front banner was hung in the North End in front of the Timbers Army.

Portland can clinch a spot in the playoffs on Sunday with a victory at Sporting Kansas City, which has already been eliminated from the playoffs, on Sunday. The Revolution host NYCFC the same day and also can clinch.