Timbers get back to winning ways against Toronto

PORTLAND, Ore. - Luke Kreamalmeyer opened the scoring and Oral Bullen added a goal and an assist as the Portland Timbers defeated the Toronto Lynx 2-1 in front of 3,369 Sunday night at PGE Park.

The Timbers (2-4-1, 7pts) broke through in the 52nd minute after a clearance kick from goalkeeper Josh Saunders. The ball fell to Bullen, who had come off the bench a minute earlier, and he played a perfect ball through to Kreamalmeyer. Kreamalmeyer took the pass, shot in-stride, and the ball blazed past Lynx goalkeeper Richard Goddard and into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead.

Bullen doubled the Timbers’ advantage in the 60th minute after receiving the ball from Mamba Chisoni on the edge of the area. Chisoni got the ball 40 yards from goal, beat several Lynx defenders and laid the ball off to the waiting Bullen, who turned, controlled the ball, and bent his shot over Goddard and into the top right corner, increasing the lead to 2-0.

The Lynx (0-5-0, 0pts) pulled a goal back in the 90th minute during stoppage time when substitute Osni Neto collected a loose ball near the penalty box and skipped a strike past the diving Saunders into the bottom right corner to seal the score at 2-1.

Toronto had the first clear scoring opportunity of the match when a Lynx player was fouled by Timbers defender Michael Nsien in the fifth minute. The resulting free kick was taken from 25 yards out by Tony Menenzes, whose shot was on target but saved comfortably by Saunders.

Portland countered with a chance in the ninth minute when a cross from Kreamalmeyer found Byron Alvarez in the Lynx penalty area. Alvarez got a head on the ball, and his shot was partially blocked by Goddard, but the ball bounced over the crossbar and out for a corner kick.

The Timbers started off the second half with a clear scoring opportunity in the 46th minute. Defender Mike Randolph brought the ball upfield and beat three Lynx players before laying the ball off to midfielder Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar. Alcaraz-Cuellar launched a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box but his effort was just wide of the target.

The Timbers head to the land of 10,000 lakes to take on the Minnesota Thunder on Saturday, May 27. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:35 p.m. (Pacific) at James Griffin Stadium.

“Toronto is a team that we were supposed to beat, and the players went out there tonight and showed why. Tonight’s game is a great boost for this team and gives us momentum going into Saturday’s game in Minnesota. They are a team we’ve beaten already this season so our team is confident that we can get another good result.”

“I told our strikers before the game that they needed to go out there and either score goals or create chances for other players to score goals, and I felt that they did that tonight. Toronto’s defense was under pressure the whole game, and that led to the goals, and eventually, the win. We brought a sense of urgency to the game tonight, and that brought a lot of energy out of our players.”

NOTES: Timbers defender Mike Randolph had to leave the game in the 85th minute due to a leg cramp … Oral Bullen’s goal was his first as a professional … PGE Park was hit with a severe rain storm an hour before kickoff, delaying warm-ups and causing humid game conditions … Toronto’s goal was the first they have scored this season (five matches).

SCORING SUMMARY: POR: Kreamalmeyer 52’ (O. Bullen), O. Bullen 61’ (Chisoni); TOR: Neto 90’ (UA).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Goodfellow YC (54’), Thompson YC (57’); TOR: Di Placido YC (23’), Williams YC (59’), Bedenikovic YC (84’).

LINEUPS: TORONTO (0-5-0): R. Goddard GK, J. Mattachione D, R. Titus D, A. Arango D, C. Williams D (Shepperd 61’), N. Decker M (Baxter 65’), R. Aristademo M (Chin 65’), M. Bedenovich M, J. Dodds M, D. DiPlacido F (Neto 54’), T. Menenzes F.
PORTLAND (2-4-1): J. Saunders GK, J. Goodfellow D, M. Nsien D, M. Randolph D (Marcum 85’), S. Thompson D, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M, L. Kreamalmeyer M, A. Gutierrez M (McAthy 45’)(Iniguez 90’), L. Morrison M, M. Chisoni F (Poltl 76’), B. Alvarez F (O. Bullen 51’).