Late Charleston goal denies points for Portland

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Alon Lubezky scored the game-winning goal for the Charleston Battery in the final minutes Saturday night to hand the Portland Timbers its first loss in its last seven league matches before 4,097 at Blackbaud Stadium.

In the 88th minute, second-half substitute Gregory Simmonds sent a ball into box that skipped to the back post for Lubezky, who sent home the decisive goal for the Battery (8-13-5, 29pts).

The Timbers’ (7-8-8, 29 pts) last league loss came to the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 9.

In the month of August, the Timbers are 20-10-8 over five seasons in the USL.

On May 12, the last meeting between the sides, the Timbers were the team that provided the late-game heroics with a goal in the 89th minute for a 1-0 win.

The Timbers continue their southern swing Sunday in Atlanta at 2:30 p.m. (Pacific) versus the Silverbacks at DeKalb Memorial Stadium. Listen to the game live at www.portlandtimbers.com.

TIMBERS NOTES: Two Timbers regulars returned to action. Scot Thompson started in his first game back following a two-week trial with Sunderland AFC in England and Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar returned to the team following a leave for personal reasons … Paul Conway, Charleston’s all-time leading scorer with 185 points (78g, 29a), marked his return to Blackbaud Stadium …a total of 11 offside calls were made in the match.

SCORING SUMMARY: Lubezky, 88’ (Simmonds).
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR Goldthwaite, YC (56’); CHR Smith, YC (56’).
LINEUPS: PORTLAND (7-8-8) Saunders GK, Goldthwaite D, Wilkinson (Morrison 50’) D, Thompson D, Marcum D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Poltl (Higgins 81’) M, Lines M, Miranda M, Antoniuk F, Conway F; CHARLESTON (8-13-5) Doyle GK, Kutney D, Kopp D, Piette (Simmonds 85’) D, Evans M, Alavanja M, Perez M, Smith (Khumalo 68’) M, Martinez (Chronopoulos 83’) F, Hollingsworth F, Vazquez (Lubezky 76’) F.