Vancouver tops Timbers 1-0 at PGE Park
PORTLAND, Ore. - A second-half strike by midfielder Vicente Arze handed the Portland Timbers their first loss of the season in a 1-0 affair against the Vancouver Whitecaps at PGE Park before 8,688 on Saturday. The loss breaks a run of 18 consecutive unbeaten regular-season home matches for the Timbers.
Despite playing its second game in as many days, Vancouver (4-1-2, 13pts) maintained a majority of the possession and out-shot the Timbers 11-6. It's the Timbers first loss at home under second-year head coach Gavin Wilkinson and the team's first home loss since Sept. 7, 2006.
The Timbers (3-1-4, 13pts) allowed just their second goal at home this season to Vancouver, and their first goal since April 24 in a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Thunder at PGE Park.
The Whitecaps took a 1-0 lead on Arze's goal in the 60th minute. After receiving the ball in open space, he moved up field to the top left corner of the penalty area and forced Timbers goalkeeper Ray Burse off his line to challenge. Arze, with a smooth touch, chipped the ball over Burse and inside the far post of an empty net for his first goal of the season.
Portland had chances to equalize late in the match. In the 72nd minute, midfielder Lawrence Olum arched a header from close range over the cross bar. Earlier in the second half, forward Chris Brown had a blistering shot from inside the box stopped by on diving effort from Vancouver goalkeeper Jay Nolly. In stoppage time, Portland had two of its four corner kick attempts, but couldn't find the back of the net for the second consecutive match.
Burse made one of his four saves late in the match on tough angled shot by Whitecaps midfielder Alfredo Valente. Diving to his left, Burse parried the low drive by Valente off the far post and back into play.
Portland didn't take its first shot until the 27th minute of the match on a series started with a throw in by defender Scot Thompson. From the right touchline, Thompson's throw in pulled Nolly, making his first start of the season for Vancouver, off his line and found Brown on the back post. Brown's header back across the goal mouth drifted just wide allowing defender Cameron Knowles a touch on the follow up, but Knowles' shot with an open net wide of the right post.
Vancouver nearly took the lead in the 36th minute when forward Eduardo Sebrango looped a header over Burse and the cross bar from inside the six yard box.
The Timbers play their second game in three days as they face the Miami FC Blues on Monday at PGE Park at 2 p.m. Monday's match is the Timbers annual Bark in the Park, inviting fans to bring their dogs to the special day match to celebrate Memorial Day.
Notes: Timbers midfielder Neil Dombrowski made his second start of the season Saturday ... Attendance was 8,688 ... Portland has scored just two goals in their last five matches ... new forward Benjamin Totori arrived in Portland late Friday and will be available for Monday's match against Miami ... Saturday's win for Vancouver was their first at PGE Park since July 2, 2004 ... rain fell for the entire second half.
POR: GK Burse, D Griffin, D Knowles, D J. Thompson, D S. Thompson, M Higgins, M Little (Oka, 45)(Bagley, 83), M Guante (Olum, 45), M Dombrowski (Gregor, 68), F Brown, F Suzuki
VAN: GK Nolly, D Martin, D Pozniak, D Cann, D Kambere, M Moose, M Nash, M Kindel (Donatelli, 71), M Arze (Valente, 76), F Sebrango, F Jordan (Addlery, 88)
VAN: Arze, 60