The Timbers didn't hold back in their CCL campaign but came up short. They'll now need a win at Vancouver on Sunday to be assured of making the MLS playoffs.
Panamanian Rolando Blackburn put Saprissa ahead in the 23rd minute, but Jack McInerney equalized in the 57th minute, giving the 16,977 fans at Providence Park hope that the Timbers would pull out the win they needed to overtake Saprissa.
McInerney was starting because Fanendo Adi was suspended for yellow card accumulation. Playmaker Diego Valeri was also out with a hamstring injury, but the Timbers created enough chances to win. Several calls for penalties in the first half went unheeded by from Guatemalan Walter Lopez, though.
"This one hurts," Porter said afterward. "It hurts probably as much as any result since I've been here."
Two years ago, Portland also exited the CCL in the group stage, losing to Honduran club Olimpia, 3-1, and going out when one-goal defeat or win or tie would have sent it into the quarterfinals.
Saprissa and Pachuca of Mexico became the fifth and sixth teams to clinch berths in the quarterfinals. With Pachuca's 4-4 tie at Olimpia, the Vancouver Whitecaps clinched the top seed.
Oct. 19 in Portland, Ore.
Portland Timbers 1 Saprissa 1. Goals: McInerney 57; Blackburn 42.
Portland Timbers -- Gleeson, Powell, S.Taylor, Ridgewell, Vytas, Grabavoy (Mattocks, 61), Chara, Nagbe, Barmby (Arboleda 83), Melano, McInerney.
Saprissa -- Carvajal, Arauz, Machado, Miller, Calvo, Segura, Guazman, Angulo (Martinez, 63), Torres (Cascante 82), Colindres (Mora, 85), Blackburn.
Oct. 19 in Kansas City, Kansas
Sporting KC 3 Central FC 1. Goals: Porter 49, Selbol 55, Hallisey pen. 91+; Gordon 43.
Sporting KC -- Kann; Alvarado, Nuno Coelho, Opara, Medranda; Joya, Granitto (Olum 70), Molano; Hallisey, Porter, Selbol.
Central FC -- Williams; Gabriel (Mitchell 59), George, Ettienne, Villaroel; Cummings (Joseph 71), Paul, Garcia, De Silva (Marcano 78); Gordon, Peltier.
Week 6, Results:
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18
Arabe Unido (PAN) 2 Don Bosco (HAI) 0
Tigres (MEX) 3 Herediano (CRC) 0
Antigua (GUA) 1 Alianza (SLV) 3
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19
Sporting KC 3 Central FC (TRI) 1
Portland Timbers 1 Saprissa (CRC) 1
Olimpia (HON) 4 Pachuca (MEX) 4
Week 6, Schedule:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20
Suchitepequez (GUA) vs. FC Dallas
UNAM (MEX) vs. W Connection (TRI)
Group A: Honduras Progreso 7 points; UNAM 6 points; W Connection 1.
Group B: *Saprissa 8 points; Portland Timbers 7; Dragon 1.
Group C: *Vancouver Whitecaps 12 points; Sporting KC 4; Central FC 1.
Group D: *Arabe Unido 12 points; Monterrey 6; Don Bosco 0.
Group E: *Pachuca 10 points; Olimpia 7; Police United 0.
Group F: *NY Red Bulls 8 points; Alianza 5; Antigua 2.
Group G: *Tigres 9 points; Herediano, Plaza Amador 4.
Group H: FC Dallas, Suchitepequez 5 points; Real Esteli 2.
*Clinched berth in quarterfinals.