D.C. United took a step closer to the Eastern Conference playoffs, while the Portland Timbers were left walking off the field in another game they felt robbed by match officials.
Timbers striker Bright Dike pounced on a loose ball in the penalty area to slot home a 79th-minute equalizer to help cancel out a Chris Pontius penalty and help Portland salvage a 1-1 draw against D.C. United at Jeld-Wen Field on Saturday night.
D.C. United's penalty came courtesy of a handball call on Timbers defender David Horst in the penalty area. Perry Kitchen swung in a cross from the right flank that appeared to catch Horst's body as he jumped up to try and block it, but the match officials ruled that the cross hit his raised arm. Replays showed that the ball hit the side of his body and not his arm.
Pontius slotted home the penalty for his 12th goal of the season, which helped D.C. United avoid being shut out on a night when they offered very little in the way of an attacking threat. D.C. manage just two shots on goal on a night when the Timbers held the edge in shots on goal, possession and passes completed.
Dike was a handful for D.C. United all night and his hard work was rewarded late in the match when he pounced on a failed clearance attempt by Andy Najar and beat Bill Hamid with a near-post blast, roofing a shot from close range to help Portland earn a point.
The tie dropped D.C. United two points behind the New York Red Bulls, but keeps them two points ahead of the Houston Dynamo for fourth place in the East.
Here are the match highlights:
What did you think of the match? Think the penalty call was correct, or did the refs miss another one badly? Impressed with Dike's effort? See D.C. United holding on to their playoff spot?
Share your thoughts below.