Eric Hassli and Luis Silva score as Toronto FC ties Portland Timbers 2-2 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Eric Hassli and Luis Silva score as Toronto FC ties Portland Timbers 2-2

Toronto FC 's Luis Silva (right) celebrates with teammate Eric Hassli after scoring his team's second goal after firing past Portland Timbers' goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts during second half MLS action in Toronto on Wednesday August 15, 2012. Hassli scored the team's first goal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

TORONTO - Darlington Nagbe scored in the 82nd minute Wednesday as the Portland Timbers salvaged a 2-2 tie with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer action.

Nagbe headed home a cross from Steven Smith past Milos Kocic to cancel out second-half goals from Toronto strikers Luis Silva and Eric Hassli.

Silva gave Toronto FC the lead in the 63rd minute after some great work down the left side from Astone Morgan. The defender sent a cross in that was flicked on by Hassli and buried by Silva from in tight past Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.

Toronto trailed 1-0 at halftime thanks to a goal from Portland's Sal Zizzo but Hassli, making his first appearance at BMO Field since being acquired from Vancouver last month, tied the score in the 57th minute on a rebound off a shot from Silva.

Hassli was mobbed by his teammates before running to the sidelines to hug Toronto FC coach Paul Mariner.

Toronto (5-13-5) still sits last in the overall standings, a point back of Portland (5-12-6).

A makeshift TFC defence that was missing five regulars because of international duty, suspension and injury, looked sloppy for most of the night.

And as has been the case too often this season for Toronto, Zizzo's goal in the scrappy, sometimes dire game, came off a corner kick. After David Horst's header was cleared off the line by a TFC defender, Zizzo pounced on the loose ball from a yard out in the 21st minute for his first goal of the season.

The Toronto back four was without newly-signed defender Darren O'Dea (Ireland), Dicoy Williams (Jamaica) and Doneil Henry (Canada), who were with their respective national teams. Add to that Logan Emory's suspension and Jeremy Hall's ankle injury and Mariner was left with few options.

The former England international implored his players to keep it simple in defence as Adrian Cann saw his first MLS action since June 16 because of a knee injury, while the out-of favour Ty Harden played in the league for the first time since April 7.

But things looked shaky from the outset as Portland carried the play for large chunks of the game.

The Timbers nearly doubled their first-half lead in the 50th minute when Zizzo's free kick from the left flashed just wide of Kocic's goal.

Ricketts then saved Harden's looping header in the 55th minute as Toronto tried to push more players forward looking for the equalizer.

Chris Boyd found himself in alone on Kocic in the 70th minute, but the Toronto FC goalkeeper came up with a big save.

Although Toronto's defence was Mariner's main concern coming into the match, Toronto FC was also without midfielder Terry Dunfield (Canada) and forward Ryan Johnson (Jamaica) because of international callups.

Horst served notice of what was to come from Portland set pieces in the eighth when his header off a corner landed on top of Kocic's net.

Hassli had the Reds' best chance of the first half. The Frenchman took a flick on from Luis Silva, fought off two defenders before getting a shot that seemed to fool Ricketts, who could only push the ball on top of his net.

Silva took a through ball in the 35th minute but took to long to shoot before being closed down by the Portland defence.

Notes: Toronto FC midfielder Aaron Maund made the first MLS start of his career. ... Ricketts made his Portland debut after coming over in a trade with Montreal last week. ... Toronto FC's next game is Saturday at home against Sporting Kansas City. ... Portland is at New York on Sunday. ... Toronto midfielder Matt Stinson (quadriceps strain) did not play and is expected to miss up to a month. ... Toronto striker Danny Koevermans underwent surgery to repair his injured left knee in Toronto on Tuesday. The Dutchman tore his anterior cruciate ligament against New England last month and isn't expected back until next May. ... Attendance was 18,773.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2012
The Canadian Press

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