Battery comes from behind to defeat Timbers

CHARLESTON, S.C. – Stephen Armstrong scored the game-winning goal in the 78th minute and Omar Daley tallied two assists as the Charleston Battery overcame the Portland Timbers 3-2 Friday night at Blackbaud Stadium.

Midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer scored twice for Portland (5-7-5, 20pts), his second and third goals in the last two matches. Kreamalmeyer scored the Timbers’ only goal in a 3-1 defeat to the Battery in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.

After having an eight-game unbeaten streak snapped on June 30 at Vancouver, the Timbers have now lost their last three league games.

Portland took the lead in the 21st minute following a free kick from Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar. Alcaraz-Cuellar lined up over the ball, then struck it into the wall, but the ball deflected through to the feet of Kreamalmeyer, who made it 1-0 with a blistering shot past Battery keeper Dusty Hudock.

The Battery (7-6-4, 25pts) leveled the score at 1-1 just five minutes later when Daley found Gavin Glinton at the top of the box. Glinton wasted no time in controlling the ball, then launching a 25-yard blast beyond the reach of Timbers goalkeeper Bayard Elfvin.

The Timbers needed less than 60 seconds after halftime to take a 2-1 lead after Byron Alvarez won a ball in midfield. Alvarez brought the ball up to the edge of the penalty area, then crossed it in towards the penalty spot, where it fell at the foot of the on-rushing Kreamalmeyer, who tapped it in for his second goal of the game.

Charleston would level the score again in the 55th minute when Elfvin was caught out of position in the penalty box. Charleston’s Ian Fuller brought the ball into the area, beat Elfvin, and the Timbers ‘keeper was forced to tackle the striker and concede a penalty kick. Midfielder Ben Hollingsworth sent Elfvin the wrong way before calmly slotting the ball into the net for the 2-2 tie.

Armstrong sealed the victory for the Battery when he beat substitute ‘keeper Josh Saunders before tapping the ball into an empty net to secure the 3-2 win.

The Timbers conclude their road trip on Saturday when they take on the Atlanta Silverbacks. Kickoff for the match is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. (Pacific).

”The boys played extremely well, and I’m very proud of how hard they fought for each other. This game was a great example of how well the team has come together, and it showed that they can work for each other out on the field. Despite the result, the match was an excellent performance by everyone. Our heads are still high, team morale is excellent, and we feel that if we can get three points tomorrow, this will still be a very successful road trip for us.”

NOTES: Player/coach Gavin Wilkinson made his first start since September 3, 2005, at Richmond … Wilkinson, 32, played the entire 90 minutes … the Timbers made their first regular-season goalkeeper substitution since June 17, 2004, vs. Rochester … Saunders and Bayard Elfvin were the two goalkeepers involved in both substitutions.

SCORING SUMMARY: POR: Kreamalmeyer 21’ (UA), Kreamalmayer 46’ (Alvarez); CHA: Glinton 26’ (Daley), Hollingsworth 55’ (pen.), Armstrong 78’ (Daley).

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: POR: Thompson YC (41’), Wilkinson YC (50’), O. Bullen YC (60’); CHA: Daley YC (25’), McKnight YC (70’).

LINEUPS: PORTLAND (5-7-5): B. Elfvin GK (Saunders 66’), S. Thompson D, T. Poltl D (S. Bullen 81’), G. Wilkinson D, M. Randolph D, M. Chisoni M, L. Kreamalmeyer M, L. Morrison M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M, O. Bullen F, B. Alvarez F.
CHARLESTON (7-6-4): D. Hudock GK, T. Karalexis D, M. Watson D, B. Curran D, A. Catalano D, O. Daley M (Romero 88’), L. Alavanja M, B. Hollingsworth M, L. Vercollone M (Lesesne 73’), I. Fuller F (Armstrong 59’), G. Glinton F (McKnight 67’).