SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.– Rookie forward David Hague tallied his first professional goal in the 89th minute to give the Portland Timbers a 1-0 win over the California Victory Thursday night at Kezar Stadium. Portland goalkeeper Josh Wicks picked up his fifth shutout of the season matching a career high.
Wicks set up the game-winning goal by launching a loose ball over the top which found Hague racing down the left side of the box. With two touches, Hague slipped the ball past California goalkeeper Eric Reed into the far post. Wicks was awarded the assist, the first of his career.
With his fifth shutout of the season, Wicks matches a career high set his rookie year in 2004 and is now second in the league in shutouts. Wicks is one shutout shy of reaching the Timbers’ franchise record for shutouts in a single season (6) first set by Matt Napoleon in 2001.
Hague, who scored 33 goals last season at Grand Canyon University, entered the match as a sub in the 79th minute.
The win moves the Timbers (5-2-3, 18pts) into a two-way tie for fourth place in the USL First Division with the Charleston Battery.
Led by midfielder Ricardo Sanchez, California (1-6-5, 8pts) pressured the Timbers defense late in the match as they out shot Portland 11-1 in the second half. In the 74th minute, midfielder Shaun Higgins cleared a ball off the goal line to help Wicks preserve the shutout.
Portland had two chances to take a lead in the first half on shots from both forward Bryan Jordan and Higgins that caught Reed out of position. Jordan’s shot was knocked off the line by Victory defender Cameron Dunn, while Higgins’ volley from eight yards out sailed over the crossbar.
Josh Hansen nearly gave the Victory the lead early in the second half but missed the ball on his shot attempt while on the run from seven yards out. His second attempt was deflected over the end line by Portland defender Justin Thompson.
After two consecutive road matches the Timbers return home to face Miami FC on Saturday at PGE Park at 7 p.m. It will be Miami’s only trip to Portland during the 2007 regular season.
Notes: Portland’s Tom Poltl left the match in the 30th minute with an injury to his right leg after he was upended by Victory midfielder Matt Fitzgerald. Tom Taylor replaced Poltl at midfield … The Timbers play the Victory in three of their next four matches …
POR – GK Wicks, D S Thompson, D J Thompson, D Knowles, D Griffin, M Gregor, M Higgins, M Kreamalmeyer (Hague, 79), M Poltl (Taylor, 32)(Dombrowski,73), F Bagley, F Jordan
CAL: GK Reed, D Schwarze, D Aguilar, D Fitzgerald (Casillas, 82), M Palomares, M Sanchez, M Retiz, M Morales, M Dunn, F Hansen (Kim, 59), F Epitie (Munoz, 45)
POR: Hague (Wicks), 89
POR: Hague (Wicks), 89