With one swift kick of his right foot, Darlington Nagbe kept the Portland Timbers alive in the CONCACAF Champions League.
The U.S. men's national team midfielder delivered a 90th-minute winner for Portland against El Salvador's CD Dragon, capping a come-from-behind victory and securing a vital three points as the club looks to advance to the knockout stage. The result sets up a head-to-head group finale with Costa Rican power Saprissa for first place and advancement. Portland trails Saprissa by a point but would have trailed by three and a massive goal differential had Nagbe not come through.
His free kick from about 25 yards found the upper left-hand corner of the net, sparking a cathartic Timbers celebration.
Portland was trailing CD Dragon 1-0 when Fanendo Adi kick-started the rally in the 79th minute with a volley of a failed clearance from inside the box.
That set the stage for Nagbe, who tallied his first CCL goal at an opportune time. Nagbe has one goal and five assists in 24 MLS matches this season.
Portland is aiming to join the Vancouver Whitecaps and New York Red Bulls as MLS teams moving on to the quarterfinals. Sporting Kansas City has been eliminated, while FC Dallas is also alive for a knockout spot.
The Red Bulls clinched the franchise's first place in the CCL knockout stage by virtue of a 0-0 draw at Guatemala's Antigua FC on Tuesday.