Timbers edged by Montreal, 1-0

PORTLAND, Ore. - The defending champion Montreal Impact shut out the Portland Timbers 1-0 on a second-half goal by Sandro Grande before 5,435 Thursday night at PGE Park.

The Timbers (5-5-3, 18pts), who’ve lost four of their last five contests, fell victim to a Montreal club that has allowed only four goals in 10 matches this season.

Impact goalkeeper Greg Sutton logged his league-leading seventh shutout in nine attempts.

Montreal (6-0-4, 22pts) tallied the lone goal on a free kick in the 58th minute when Grande zeroed in on his target from 35 yards out and put it by Portland goalkeeper Josh Saunders.

Aaran Lines’ corner kick in the 83rd nearly found the feet of several Timbers inside the box, but the ball skipped around and out of striking distance.

Portland came close to cashing in on a free kick opportunity in the fourth minute of the match, but Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar’s attempt from 30 yards out was saved out of play by Sutton.

Grande unleashed on a well-placed shot from the top of the box in the 27th minute, only to see Saunders dive for the stop.

On tap for the Timbers is a Cascadia Cup match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, July 2, at PGE Park. Kickoff is 7 p.m. (Pacific) and tickets are available at area Ticketmaster outlets and the PGE Park box office.

TIMBERS NOTES: U.S. Men’s National Team head coach Bruce Arena was in attendance Thursday … Saturday night’s match versus Vancouver at PGE Park will be televised locally on Comcast CNW 14 … U.S. Women’s National Team star Tiffeny Milbrett will be on hand to give pre-game autographs on the main concourse Saturday … the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive a set of free 2005 Timbers trading cards.

SCORING SUMMARY: Grande, 58’ (UA).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: MON Leduc, YC (41’), Pizzolitto, YC (58’), Gerba, YC (87’); POR Conway, YC (22’), Alcaraz-Cuellar, YC (58’), Alvarez, YC (89’).

LINEUPS: MONTREAL (6-0-4) Sutton GK, Gervais D, Pizzolitto D, Braz D, Lyssand D, Grande M (Vincello 86’), Leduc M, Roberto M, Sebrango F (Fukasawa 79’), Biello F (Ribeiro 74’), Gerba F (Cann 90’); PORTLAND (5-5-3) Saunders GK, Miranda D, Thompson D, Morrison D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Lines M, Higgins M, Poltl M, Conway M, Antoniuk F, Alvarez F (Alvarez 68’).