Gordon's late goal sparks Timbers

CALGARY, Alberta - Alan Gordon scored a goal late in the second half, fueling the Portland Timbers to a 1-0 victory over the Calgary Mustangs on Wednesday night at McMahon Stadium.

With the score deadlocked at 0-0 in the 86th minute, Shawn Saunders crossed a ball into the box that was corralled by Gordon and sent into the back of the net for the game-winner.

The goal was Gordon’s league-leading 16th of the season and broke a defensive stalemate between Calgary (2-14-3, 9pts) and Portland that held throughout much of the evening.

The victory gives the Timbers (12-7-0, 36pts) sole possession of second place in the Western Conference as Portland goalkeeper Josh Saunders counted his fourth shutout of the season.

Mesut Mert was active in the Calgary attack, including in the 68th minute, when he got himself into a one-on-one situation with Saunders, but missed his attempt over the crossbar.

Mert later skipped a ball off the far post in the waning minutes of regulation that nearly went in.

In a first half that saw little action between the two sides, Portland’s best chance at a strike presented itself in the 33rd, when Saunders dealt a ball to Gordon, who headed the serve over the crossbar.

Byron Alvarez let loose on a shot from 19 yards out in the 37th minute, but missed wide of his target.

The Timbers continue their two-game road set in Milwaukee, where they’ll do battle with the Wave United on Saturday, July 31 at 5:35 p.m. (Pacific).

TIMBERS NOTES: Wednesday was Shawn Saunders’ 28th birthday … it was the first match of the season for the Timbers in which there were no cautions drawn on either side … Fadi Afash saw his first action as a Timber this season, subbing in for Alvarez in the 80th minute … the Timbers are now 10-1-1 all-time against Calgary.

SCORING SUMMARY: Gordon, 86’ (S. Saunders).

PENALTY SUMMARY: None.

LINEUPS: PORTLAND (12-7-0) J. Saunders GK, Morrison D, Thompson D, S. Saunders D, Winters D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Miranda M, Gregor M, Sagare M, Gordon F (Antoniuk), Alvarez F (Afash); CALGARY (2-14-3) Pfannenstiel GK, Richer D, Peszneneker D, Pavicic D, Brusselers M, Auvigne M, Mert M, Jesic M, Kolomiets-Raad M, Smith F, Otta F.