Timbers fall short in overtime to Vancouver

PORTLAND, Ore. - The Vancouver Whitecaps handed the Portland Timbers their first home loss of the season, winning 1-0 in overtime before 5,093 fans Saturday night at PGE Park.

It was the Timbers’ first loss to the Whitecaps at PGE Park since June 29, 2001, snapping Portland’s seven-game undefeated streak at home that dated back to last season.

The Timbers (7-2-0, 21pts), who lead the A-League in scoring, were shut out for the first time in the 2004 campaign.

The game-breaker came in the fifth minute of overtime when former Timber Jeff Clarke stole the ball and dished off inside the box to Winston Griffiths, who slid a shot past Timbers goalkeeper Josh Saunders for the “golden goal.”

Vancouver (5-3-1, 16pts) had several chances to score in the second half, including in the 51st minute, when Dave Xausa missed a one-on-one, wide-open chip shot.

Alfredo Valente kissed a ball off the left goalpost, narrowly missing an opportunity to put the Whitecaps on top in the 86th.

Byron Alvarez nearly sealed it for the Timbers in the 89th, placing a bicycle kick just high over the crossbar. Earlier in the 85th, Alvarez missed wide right on a pass from Dan Antoniuk.

Brian Winters got a shot off in the 57th minute, but had it sail into the arms of Vancouver goalkeeper Alex Marques, who made six saves on the evening.

Alan Gordon had two opportunities in the first half. In the 24th when he took a pass from Jake Sagare and knocked it into the ‘keeper’s hands, and in the 37th, he missed his mark on a corner kick play.

Vancouver’s best chance at a first half goal came in the 13th minute when defender Justin Thompson’s shot forced Saunders to make a diving save just inside the left goalpost.

On tap for the Timbers is an inter-conference match with the Rochester Raging Rhinos Thursday, June 17 at PGE Park. Kickoff is 7 p.m.

TIMBERS NOTES: Thursday’s match against Rochester will be telecast live on Comcast Cable Channel 14 … Saturday’s setback put the Timbers at 3-1-0 in Cascadia Cup play against Northwest rivals Seattle and Vancouver … Alvarez, who tallied five goals in three games against the Whitecaps last season at PGE Park, was held scoreless following Thursday’s hat trick performance … Portland held the advantage in corner kicks 13-4.

SCORING SUMMARY: Griffiths, 95’ (Clarke).

PENALTY SUMMARY: VAN Xausa, YC (29’), Heald, YC (72’); POR Alcaraz-Cuellar, YC (30’), Sagare, YC (54’).

LINEUPS: VANCOUVER (5-3-1) Marques GK, Craveiro D, Lyall D, Thompson D, Dasovic D, Kindel M, Clarke M, Sulentic M, Heald M, Valente F, Xausa F (Griffiths 85’); PORTLAND (7-2-0) J. Saunders GK, Morrison D, Wilkinson D, Heinzen D, Winters D, Benedetti M (Gregor 60’), Bengard M, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Sagare M, Gordon F (Antoniuk 70’), Alvarez F.