PORTLAND, Ore. - Forward Matt Taylor scored two second-half goals as the Portland Timbers defeated England's Preston North End 2-1 in a special exhibition match in front of 8,238 at PGE Park on Saturday night. Matt Taylor snapped the Timbers two-game scoreless streak and kept the Portland's unbeaten record at PGE Park in tact.
After trailing 1-0 in at halftime, the Timbers controlled the pace of the second half and would out shoot Preston North End 12-9 in the contest. Portland maintains its unbeaten record at home at 10-0-4 including USL First Division matches and all three international exhibition matches this season.
Preston North End suffered its third loss while on its 2007-08 U.S. preseason tour and were out scored 6-2 in those matches. Known as the “Lilywhites,” Preston North End played the Seattle Sounders on Monday and Mexico's Monterrey on Thursday in Sacramento, Calif.
New Portland forward Matt Taylor, who was signed on Wendesday, scored his first goal as a Timber in the 50th minute to tie the match at 1-1. Matt Taylor out ran a Preston North End defender to a long ball sent over the top. Forcing a one-on-one with the goalkeeper, Matt Taylor slyly maneuvered around Andy Lonergan, a former English U-21 National Team member, and slotted home the equalizer.
In stoppage time, Timbers forward David Hague set up the game-winning goal as he was knocked down in the box. Matt Taylor calmly stepped up for the penalty kick and forced Lonergan to his left and nailed his shot inside the opposite post for his second goal of the match.
Brett Ormerod put Preston North End on the board in the 12th minute knocking in a header from three yards out. Off of deflection on a corner kick, midfielder Adam Nowland found Ormerod, who was Preston North End's second leading scorer last season, with a short ball across the box. Ormerod's shot arched just beyond the reach Timbers goalkeeper Bayard Elfvin. His goal was only the Lilywhites second goal in three matches while on tour in the U.S.
Portland nearly found a goal in the 28th minute with two chances by midfielders Andrew Gregor and England native Tom Taylor. Gregor's strike was a free kick from 25 yard out that rattled off the crossbar and deflected out to Tom Taylor alone in the top left corner of the box. Off the bounce, Tom Taylor blasted a shot towards the top far corner, but it too hit the crossbar.
In the 85th minute, another Matt Taylor goal, was waived off due to an offside call by referee Andres Pfefferkorn.
The Timbers (11-3-4, 37pts) return to USL First Division action on August 1 as they travel north to face Northwest rival the Seattle Sounders at Qwest Field at 7 p.m. Portland will then visit the Minnesota Thunder on August 4 before returning home to battle the Thunder at PGE Park on August 9.
Notes: Since 2001, the Timbers are 4-0-1 at PGE Park against international opponents ... For the second consecutive match Matt Taylor has taken four shots ...
POR: GK Elfvin (Reese, 76), D Higgins, D Morrison, D Knowles (Marcum, 45), D S. Thompson (Meissner, 55), M T. Taylor (Ready,74) , M Dombrowski, M Gregor (Hague, 45), M Olum, F Harrington (Ambriz, 81), F M. Taylor
PNE: GK Lonergan, D Jones, D Pugh, D St. Ledger, D Chilvers (Collins,80), M Jarrett (Hill, 86), M Anyinsah (Whaley, 64), M Nowland, M L. Neal, F Agyemang (Alexander, 74), F Ormerod
PNE: Ormerod (Nowland), 12
POR: M. Taylor, 50
POR: M. Taylor (PK), 90