Timbers shutout Atlanta 2-0 on the road

ATLANTA – The Portland Timbers used an own goal and a second-half strike by forward Chris Bagley to defeat the Atlanta Silverbacks 2-0 at RE/MAX Greater Atlanta Stadium on Saturday playing their second game in as many days while on a two-game road trip.

Bagley, a second-half sub, scored his second goal of the season and goalkeeper Ray Burse recorded five saves, including one on a penalty kick attempt in the first half by Atlanta, to lead the Timbers (5-5-6, 21pts) to their eighth shutout of the season and first win in since May 30. Portland gains sole possession of third place in the USL First Division with the win.

Atlanta (4-4-5, 17pts) out-shot the Timbers 13-4 and created several shot opportunities inside the box, but the Portland defense held firm to issue the Silverbacks their first loss in league play since late May.

Following an own goal by Atlanta early in the match, Bagley extended the Timbers lead to a two-goal margin in the 69th minute. A long, arching pass from midfield found Bagley at the top of the box behind his defender. Under pressure, Bagley took a leaping shot and chipped the ball over Atlanta goalkeeper Ryan McIntosh charging off his line and into an open goal.

Portland gained a 1-0 lead in the third minute on an own goal by the Silverbacks. The play began on a corner kick by forward Takayuki Suzuki that found its way into the box before it was headed out to Chris Brown at the top right corner of the area. His low shot at the far post deflected off an Atlanta player and found its way back inside the right post.

Portland’s defense had their work cut out for them in their first half as Atlanta unleashed eight shots in the opening period. Burse recorded three saves in the first half with diving efforts on one-on-one opportunities by Atlanta’s Scott Buete and Ansu Toure inside the box.

In the 26th minute, Burse helped the Timbers maintain their lead by making a diving save to knock down a penalty kick attempt by Silverbacks defender David Hayes. Timbers midfielder Lawrence Olum was called for a foul on the edge of the area to award Atlanta the opportunity.

Atlanta continued their offensive pressure in the second half and in the opening minute forced Burse to race Toure to a ball played into the box. The pass to Toure was one pace ahead allowing Burse to knock the ball free from danger.

Late in the game, Atlanta nearly pulled one back as forward Macoumba Kandji found midfielder Jason McLaughlin cutting through the box. But McLaughlin’s sly shot back across the run of play rolled inches wide of the left post.

The Timbers return home to play host to Mexican club Monarcas Morelia in an international exhibition match on July 3 at PGE Park presented by Widmer and Allstate. Morelia features three current members of the Mexican National Team. Tickets, starting at $16, are available through the PGE Park box office, area Ticketmaster locations, online at www.ticketmaster.com or by phone at (503) 224-4400. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Notes: Midfielder Andrew Gregor missed his third consecutive match due to injury ... Portland played without midfielder Tom Poltl who served the second of a three-match, league-imposed suspension for a red card ... Bagley has scored both of his goals this season against Atlanta … Midfielder Lawrence Olum made his first start Saturday since returning from injury earlier in the week … The Timbers finished the month of June with a record of 1-3-2.

POR: GK Burse, D Griffin, D Knowles, D S. Thompson, D J. Thompson, M Higgins (Lara, 87), M Brown, M Olum (Karalexis, 85), M Dombrowski, F Jordan (Bagley, 61), F Suzuki (Guante, 45)

ATL: GK McIntosh, D Moore, D Hayes, D Bobo, D Bolton, M Buete, M McLaughlin (Monteiro, 78), M Rios (Camp, 61), M McManus (Mahaffey, 65), F Toure (Knox, 72), F Kandji

Scoring Summary:
POR: Own Goal, 3
POR: Bagley, 69