Timbers and Sporting KC play to 0-0 draw

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PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On a career night, Tim Melia just wanted the win.

Sporting Kansas City's goalkeeper fended off a flurry of Portland shots and his team snapped a three-game losing streak in a 0-0 draw with the Timbers on Wednesday night.

Melia had a career-high seven saves for his seventh shutout of the season, and first since a 1-0 victory at Vancouver on July 12.

"I'm just happy we got the result. We came here, we had a couple of rough games, we lost three on the trot," Melia said. "I think it was important for us to come in here and get back to basics. And for us, the most important thing is keeping zeros. If we don't get scored on, we have enough quality players on this team to grind out results."

Both teams are locked in a battle for playoff position, knotted in a three-way tie for fourth in the Western Conference with Seattle with 41 points apiece. Kansas City has played two fewer games.

With the draw, Portland still extended its unbeaten streak at home to 10 games. The Timbers, who have eight clean sheets at home this season, also have a league-low 29 total goals.

The Timbers finished with 18 shots but had no goals to show for it.

"We had more clear chances than we've probably had in any game all year. We had three of four breakaways," coach Caleb Porter said. "And we should have scored. We should have won."

Matt Besler was back for Sporting after duty with the U.S. national team. Soni Mustivar also returned after missing three matches with a groin strain.

Portland was without defender Liam Ridgewell because of yellow card accumulation, and Diego Chara was suspended because of a foul on Houston forward Erick Torres in the 91st minute of Portland's 2-2 draw with the Dynamo on Aug. 21. Additionally, captain Will Johnson was with the Canadian national team and Alvas Powell was with the Jamaican team.

International call-ups for Kansas City included Marcel de Jong (Canada), Krisztian Nemeth (Hungary) and Erik Palmer-Brown (United States U-20s).

Fanendo Adi had a good chance for the Timbers in the 29th minute, but his fast-break attempt was kicked off target by Melia. Adi, who leads the Timbers with 10 goals, had another attempt later in the half but was ruled offside.

Melia made a diving save of Adi's header in the 49th minute.

Portland got lucky when Graham Zusi's shot for Kansas City in the 64th minute ricocheted off the far post. But moments later, Diego Valeri took off downfield and passed to Lucas Melano, who could not get past Melia.

"A lot of stuff, even though it was on goal, was just to him," Sporting coach Peter Vermes said about Melia's play. "There were a lot of headers, things like that, that were to him. But the one save he made in the second half, where he had the one-on-one, was a big save."

The two teams also played to a 0-0 draw in a March game in Kansas City.

Sporting, which had won two of its last three matches at Providence Park, was coming off a 2-1 loss at the Colorado Rapids.

Portland was coming off a 2-1 loss at Cascadia rival Seattle.

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