Timbers remain unbeaten with draw at Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS - Powered by a late goal from Dan Antoniuk and seven saves by Josh Saunders, the Portland Timbers played the Minnesota Thunder to a 1-1 draw Saturday night at the Metrodome.

Antoniuk, who signed with the Timbers (2-0-2, 8pts) on Thursday, came on as a second-half substitution and displayed the effectiveness he’s shown over the past two seasons with the quick strike off the bench.

Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar teed of a corner kick in the 78th minute and found a target in Antoniuk, who put a head on the ball and sent it inside the near post to salvage a point in the standings.

Saunders turned in another standup performance between the posts, collecting seven saves while facing eight shots. The Portland goalkeeper, on loan from the Los Angeles Galaxy of MLS, has collected 15 saves over the past two matches.

The Timbers are unbeaten in four contests this season and maintain an unbeaten streak of 14 regular-season games, dating back to last season.

Portland returns home to PGE Park to battle the Charleston Battery on Thursday, May 12. Kickoff is 7 p.m. (Pacific).

Minnesota (0-0-2, 2pts) got on the board in the eighth minute of play when Saunders deflected a shot from Aaron Paye that rebounded into the path of Johnny Menyongar, who dialed in his second goal of the season for the 1-0 advantage.

The Timbers nearly equalized late in the first half when Alcaraz-Cuellar and Edwin Miranda worked the ball inside the box, but Minnesota goalkeeper Joe Warren thwarted the scoring opportunity.

TIMBERS NOTES: Thursday’s match versus Charleston at PGE Park will be televised live on Comcast’s CNW 14 in the Portland area … the Thunder and the Timbers have tied their last four meetings, dating back to last season … Portland hasn’t lost to Minnesota since July of 2003.

SCORING SUMMARY: Menyongar, 8’ (Paye); Antoniuk, 78’ (Alcaraz-Cuellar).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR Miranda, YC (55’), Wilkinson, YC (68’); MIN Tenoff, YC (11’).

LINEUPS: PORTLAND (2-0-2) J. Saunders GK, S. Saunders D (Morrison 45’), Wilkinson D, Thompson D, Heinzen D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M (Poltl 85’), Winters M, Lines M, Miranda M, Benedetti F (Antoniuk 62’), Alvarez F; MINNESOTA (0-0-2) Warren GK, Brunt D, Branan D, Wilson D, Tenoff M (Lara 83’), Juarez M, Alberts M, Friedland M (Vorenkamp 70’), Matteo M, Paye F (Doe 75’), Menyongar F.