Key saves, defense help Timbers draw Lynx

TORONTO – Josh Saunders made a key save in stoppage time and the Portland Timbers ended a seven-game losing streak Saturday night, playing the Toronto Lynx to a 0-0 draw at Centennial Stadium.

Portland (5-11-6, 21pts) earned a point and some much-needed momentum as it now heads home for its final six matches of the regular season. The Timbers extended their unbeaten streak against the Lynx to four games.

The Lynx (3-10-4, 13pts) extended their unbeaten streak to three games.

Late in the game, a ball was played out to a Toronto player who had a clean left-footed shot at the goal, but Saunders was able to make the stop to seal the tie.

Saunders faced 17 shots from Toronto, including five from forward Matthew Palleschi.

Salim Bullen had a ball played to him inside the penalty box late in the game, and he had a clean shot opportunity, but he got a bad bounce and couldn’t take advantage.

Toronto goalkeeper Richard Goddard was in goal for the Lynx on the shutout and also made a key save in stoppage time.

Portland had five shots on goal, including two from forward Yuri Morales, who played 90 minutes in his second game with the club.

Up next, the Timbers are at home for their final six matches. Their first test comes against the Minnesota Thunder on August 4 at 7 p.m. at PGE Park.

“It was a very good team effort. We’ve been a bit unlucky lately, but we stepped up as a squad and everybody dug deep and we got a decent result. Now are we happy with that? Of course not, we’re a team that wants to win and unfortunately we didn’t. We had a couple of chances that were pretty close, but it’s a good start for us and we’ll just build ourselves back into it. Now we’ve got the rest of the games at home and we can start doing some damage in our own backyard.”

NOTES: The match featured no cautions or ejections on either side … Portland finished with just 13 fouls and Toronto had 15 … midfielder Troy Ready made his first start of the season and Sergio Iniguez also got the start in midfield, his second of the season and first since May 24.



LINEUPS: PORTLAND (5-11-6): J. Saunders GK, S. Thompson D, M. Nsien D, M. Randolph D, M. Chabala D, L. Kreamalmeyer M, L. Morrison M, T. Poltl M (S. Bullen 81’), S. Iniguez M (Wilkinson 57’), T. Ready M (O. Bullen 78’), Y. Morales F.
TORONTO (3-10-4): R. Goddard GK, R. Titus D, A. Arango D, C. Medwin D (Bedenikovic 30’), C. Williams D, R. Aristodemo M, D. DiPlacido M (Bartolomeu 70’), K. Jeffrey M, G. Chin M (Dekker 73’), M. Palleschi F (Anstey 83’), D. Pottinger F (Neto 60’).