Kreamalmeyer nets winner as Timbers sink Mariners

PORTLAND, Ore. - Luke Kreamalmeyer scored the game-winning goal and goalkeeper Bayard Elfvin collected a shutout as the Portland Timbers defeated the Virginia Beach Mariners in front of 6,167 Thursday night at PGE Park.

Kreamalmeyer’s goal was his eighth of the season in league play, and his third in the last five games.

Elfvin collected his second shutout in three appearances for the Timbers (6-12-6, 24pts), who snapped an 11-game winless streak.

The Mariners (7-6-8, 29pts) managed just three shots on goal compared to the Timbers’ 13.

Kreamalmeyer vaulted the Timbers to a 1-0 lead in the 49th minute when he won possession at the top of the penalty area from two Virginia Beach defenders. Kreamalmeyer wasted no time in blasting a shot that sailed past Mariners goalkeeper Matt Nelson before deflecting off the near post and into the back of the net.

Portland had a chance to open the scoring in the 20th minute when a ball lobbed over the top of the Virginia Beach defense found Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar streaking down the wing. Alcaraz-Cuellar controlled the ball, brought it to the edge of the Virginia Beach penalty area and crossed it over the box. The pass found the feet of the on-rushing Tom Poltl, but his touch sent the ball just wide.

The Mariners had a chance to even the score in the 74th minute after Tim O’Neill sent a searing shot at the right side of the goal from 25 yards. O'Neill's beat Elfvin but hit the bar before falling to the feet of a Mariners player, where Elfvin was able to collect it and push the ball out of bounds.

Poltl had another opportunity in the 77th minute when he collected the ball 25 yards from goal. Poltl sent a shot right towards the top corner that Nelson had to push over the bar and out for a corner kick.

“We feel very positive. What's exciting about this game is that we showed some good discipline and focus. But what's also exciting for me is all of the chances that we created throughout the match. I'm confident that this team will raise its game and make things happen. With Alan Gordon coming back into the lineup next week, we'll see a very strong, attack-minded team.

The different formation tonight gave us more bodies in the middle of the pitch, and we knew we needed that. By playing down the lines, our hope was that it would stretch them out, and I thought it was effective.”

NOTES: Midfielder Tom Poltl donned the captain’s armband in the absence of defender Scot Thompson, who is undergoing a trial with England’s Coventry City … Garrett Marcum made his first appearance for the Timbers since June 30 at Vancouver … a rock-paper-scissors tournament was held at halftime, with the winner receiving round-trip airfare.

SCORING SUMMARY: POR: Kreamalmeyer 49’ (UA).


LINEUPS: VIRGINIA BEACH (7-6-8): M. Nelson GK, A. Woods D (Schwarze 64’), S. D. Danbusky D (Cephas 78’), K. Low D, C. Demmin D (Vargas-Aguilera 61’), J. Bilyk M, S. Shak M, T. O’Neill M, F. Brillant M (Nusum 69’), G. Simmonds F, R. Mack F.
PORTLAND (6-12-6): B. Elfvin GK, J. Goodfellow D, M. Nsien D, M. Randolph D, G. Marcum M (Morrison 70’), M. Chabala M, H. Alcaraz-Cuellar M (Morales 67’), M. Chisoni M, T. Poltl M, B. Alvarez F, L. Kreamalmeyer F.