PORTLAND, Ore. - Midfielder Lawrence Olum delivered the go-ahead goal in the 52nd minute as the Portland Timbers defeated Northwest rival Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 in front of 7,123 at PGE Park on Thursday night.
The Timbers (10-2-3, 33pts) matched a franchise record with their sixth consecutive win and maintain their top spot in the USL First Division. The six-game win streak was originally set in 2004 when the Timbers rattled off six straight to start the season.
Portland is the first club to reach the 10-win mark this season.
Led by goalkeeper Josh Wicks with four saves, the Timbers' defense held the Whitecaps (7-6-6, 27pts) to single goal in the first half to remain unbeaten at home with a record of 7-0-3. The Whitecaps are now winless in the last 11 matches and have lost four straight.
Portland took a 2-1 lead in the 52nd minute on Olum's second goal of the season. The ball was played into the box from the left side by defender Leonard Griffin to Chris Bagley who deflected the ball over his shoulder into the middle of the box. Olum, who was slicing through the box, found the loose ball and drilled it inside the far post from eight yards out.
Midfielder Martin Nash put the Whitecaps on the board in the 19th minute with a 25-yard blast from the top of the box. With time and room from the top of the arch, Nash, a member of the Canadian National Team, delivered a shot into the upper right hand corner past an outstretched Wicks for the 1-0 lead.
The Timbers pulled even in the 29th minute on a hard-fought goal by midfielder Andrew Gregor. After receiving the ball from Tom Poltl, Gregor was met at the top of the box by the Whitecaps defender Diaz Kambere. Fighting off Kambere, Gregor smoothly flipped the ball over the defender’s head, forced a one-on-one with goalkeeper Lutz Pfannenstiel and calmly put the ball inside the right post. With his seventh goal of the season, Gregor is now in a three-way tie for the league lead in goals scored.
Portland had a couple chances to take the lead late in the first half on set pieces from Gregor. From a corner kick opportunity, Gregor put the ball on the back post where Bryan Jordan headed the ball just over the cross bar. In another opportunity, Olum headed wide a free kick from Gregor.
Notes: The win over Vancouver is the first in 11 meetings between the Northwest rivals. The last time Portland defeated the Whitecaps was May 23, 2004 ... The Whitecaps played tonight without leading scorer Eduardo Sebrango ... Wicks began his professional career with the Whitecaps in 2005 ... Portland defender Justin Thompson, a North Vancouver native, played for Vancouver in 2004.
POR: GK Wicks, D Griffin, D J. Thompson, D Knowles, D S. Thompson, M Olum (Lara, 71), M Poltl, M Gregor, M Higgins, F Bagley (Harrington, 67), F Jordan (Hague, 82)
VAN: GK Pfannenstiel, D Cann, D Kindel, D Lyall, D Narcisse (Klein, 62)(Martin, 89), D Kambere (McLaughlin, 75), M Nash, M Donatelli, M Morris (Jordan, 62), F Gjertsen, F Testo (Alberts, 62)
VAN: Nash, 18
POR: Gregor (Poltl), 29
POR: Olum (Bagley), 52