Darlington Nagbe (left) scored dramatically in the Portland Timbers' Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League win over host Dragon on September 27, 2016, in San Salvador, El Salvador. (Photo: Mexsport)
SAN SALVADOR – The Portland Timbers (2W-0D-1L, 6 points) kept alive their hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals of the 2016/17 Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League, scoring a pair of late goals to rally past host Dragon (0-1-3,1), 2-1, on Tuesday at the Estadio Cuscatlan.
With the result, the current Major League Soccer champion can progress to the knockout stage with a win over visiting Group B leader Saprissa (2-1-0, 7) on October 19 at Providence Park.
Darlington Nagbe scored the game-winner in the 90th minute off a free kick for his first-ever SCCL goal. The scenario was similar to the first meeting between the sides on August 3, when Diego Valeri broke a 1-1 deadlock to give Portland a victory.
Dragon took a 1-0 lead in the 54th minute through Kevin Melara. The forward dribbled through a trio of Timbers’ defenders in the penalty area after a give-and-go with Jamal Jack and pounded the ball into the back of the net from 13-yards out.
In the 79th minute, Portland capitalized on an uncertain clearance to equalize at 1-1. Edwin Benitez’s header from inside his own six-yard box fell to Fanendo Adi, who was there to bounce a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Henry Hernandez from 13-yards out.
The victory was Portland’s fifth in seven all-time SCCL outings and first in Central America after three attempts.