Timbers drop first game of season

CLARKSTON, Ga. - The Portland Timbers’ six-game unbeaten streak came to a halt Saturday, as the Atlanta Silverbacks came from behind for a 4-3 victory at DeKalb Memorial Stadium.

Despite leading the majority of the match, the Timbers (6-1-0, 18pts) came out on the losing end of a five-goal flurry between the two clubs midway through the second half.

Atlanta broke a 3-3 tie with the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute when Alan Woods capitalized on a corner kick play to give the Silverbacks (4-3-1, 13pts) their third consecutive victory.

“If you score three goals on the road, you don’t expect to lose,” said Timbers head coach Bobby Howe. “Unfortunately, physical fatigue led to mental fatigue, giving Atlanta opportunities to score.”

The Timbers had leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 in the match, but could not hold on.

Alan Gordon, the reigning A-League Player of the Week, scored twice in the match for his league-leading eighth and ninth goals of the season. Atlanta’s Mac Cozier scored two goals as well.

Gordon tallied his first goal of the evening in the eighth minute of play, knocking in a perfectly placed corner kick from Alex Bengard to hand the Timbers an early lead.

Adilson De Lima equalized in the 34th for the Silverbacks, converting a penalty kick after Timbers defender Aaron Heinzen was called for a foul inside the box.

With the score tied 1-1, Gordon took a rebound from Dan Antoniuk and dialed it in to grab the lead in the 60th minute.

Atlanta equaled the score in the 67th, as Mac Cozier headed a ball past Josh Saunders to knot things up at 2-2.

Antoniuk answered in the 70th, taking a pass from Jake Sagare and cashing in for his first goal of the season.

The lead was brief, however, as Cozier added another goal, his sixth of the year, less than a minute later to tie the game once again.

Portland had a chance to avoid the loss in stoppage time when Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar played a cross into the box, but a shot by Erik Cronkrite missed its mark.

Next up for the Timbers is a home match with the Edmonton Aviators this Thursday at PGE Park at 7 p.m.

SCORING SUMMARY: Gordon, 8’ (Bengard); De Lima, 34’ (PK); Gordon, 60’ (Antoniuk); Cozier, 67’ (Degand); Antoniuk, 70’ (Sagare); Cozier, 71’ (Ball); Woods, 83’ (Ball).

PENALTY SUMMARY: POR Wilkinson, YC (18’), Bengard, YC (89’), Sagare, YC (90’); ATL Brooks, YC (35’).

LINEUPS: PORTLAND (6-1-0) J. Saunders GK, Morrison D (Cronkrite 88’), Wilkinson D, Heinzen D (Henning 88’), Winters D, Benedetti M, Bengard M, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Sagare M, Gordon F, Antoniuk F; ATLANTA (4-3-1) Joe Barton GK, De Lima D, Woods D, Lewis D, Degand D, Afful M, Fitzpatrick M (Broder 62’), Ball M, Pineda-Chacon M (Josh Barton 88’), Brooks F (Thompson 75’), Cozier F (Ilarionov 85’).