Pore, Cameron help Portland capture 2-0 road win

BLAINE, Minn. –  Midfielder Ryan Pore scored the go-ahead goal and defender Josh Cameron found the back of the net late in the second half as the Portland Timbers defeated the NSC Minnesota Stars 2-0 on Saturday at the National Sports Center.

Pore converted a penalty kick early in the match, following a foul on forward Doug DeMartin inside the box, to put the Timbers on the board. Cameron then scored his first professional goal in the 89th minute to seal the win for the Timbers and end an eight-game winless stretch in league play.

Pore’s goal was his league-leading ninth of the season, goalkeeper Steve Cronin made three saves in his fourth shutout on the campaign and forward George Josten set up Cameron’s strike to lead the Timbers (4-5-4, 16pts) to their first victory on the road in 2010.

Forward Brian Cvilikas put a shot off the crossbar in the second half, and midfielder Daniel Wasson took a team-high two shotsin the losing effort for the Stars (5-8-2, 17pts), who had a four-game unbeaten streak and a run of three consecutive shutouts comes to an end. 

The Timbers claimed the lead in the sixth minute. Midfielder Alex Nimo threaded a through ball up field for DeMartin on a run into the box. The rookie was tripped up just inside the top right corner of the area, and the Timbers were awarded a penalty kick. Pore stepped up and drilled a right-footed shot past Minnesota goalkeeper Joe Warren for the go-ahead tally, which ended Portland’s string of three scoreless matches.

Under pressure with a late lead, the Timbers doubled their advantage on a goal by Cameron. Josten fed Cameron, who had entered the match as a sub just minutes earlier, near the top of the arc. Cameron turned and hammered an off-balance shot inside the right post, beating a sprawling effort by Warren to secure Portland’s first league win since April 29.

DeMartin was a key part of the Timbers attack against the Stars, and set up a pair of scoring chances late in the first half. In the 26th minute, a combo between DeMartin and Pore led to a led to a free kick just outside the box. Pore chipped a shot from 19 yards out over the goal.

A minute later, DeMartin laid the foundation for a shot of his own 15 yards out from goal. He hit a low driven shot that forced Warren into a low save to his left.

Stars forward Simone Bracalello forced Cronin into his first save of the night in the 20th minute. Slashing into the box from the left side, Bracelello tried to curl a shot inside the far post, but Cronin was in position to deny the effort.

In the 32nd minute, a corner kick by the Stars found midfielder Neil Hlavaty inside the box. Hlavaty was able to bring the ball down, but the Timbers were able to clear it away to void the scoring threat by the home side.

Searching for the equalizer, the Stars put pressure on the Timbers in a fast-paced second half. In the 56th minute, forward Warren Ukah chipped a shot from the top of the box at the back post, trying to sneak the ball past Cronin, but the goalkeeper was able to get to the ball with a diving save.

Portland‘s first chance in the second period came in the 57th minute. DeMartin took the ball away from Minnesota’s Kyle Altman in the Minnesota half, and slipped a pass to forward Bright Dike running down the right side. With space inside the area, Dike blasted a shot wide of the goal.

Minnesota’s best chance of the night nearly leveled the score in the 75th minute. A long ball played from the back by Warren worked its way through to forward Brian Cvilikas near the box. Cvilikas had slipped between two Timbers defenders and tried to chip Cronin off the bounce. His shot hit off the crossbar and went out over the end line as Portland escaped a close call.

The Stars continued to press. Cronin snagged a dangerous cross on a re-start by midfielder Daniel Wasson in the 78th minute from deep down the right side. Even down two goals, Minnesota pushed hard towards the end and earned a pair of corner kicks in stoppage time.

The Timbers face the Kitsap Pumas in the second round of the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup  on Tuesday, June 22, at Bremerton Memorial Stadium in Bremerton, Wash.; kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The winner will advance to face Major League Soccer’s Seattle Sounders FC in the third round of the tournament.

Notes: Midfielder Derek Gaudet started his first league appearance for the Timbers on Saturday in Minnesota … Portland midfielder James Marcelin did not travel due to a league-imposed suspension following his red card against the Stars on Thursday … Of Pore’s nine goals on the season, three have come on penalty-kick attempts … Exactly one year ago, Cameron recorded his first professional assist in a 5-1 win over the Minnesota Thunder on June 19, 2009.

POR: GK Cronin, D Thompson, D Danso (Purdy, 81), D Smith, D Joy, M Nimo (Suzuki, 73), M McManus, M Gaudet, M Pore, F Dike (Josten, 66), F DeMartin (Cameron, 86)

MIN: GK Warren, D Clements (Friedland, 77), D Lorentz, D Kallman, D Altman, M Wasson, M Hlavaty (Allen, 65), M Moura (Menyongar, 81), M Wright (Cvilikas, 70), F Bracalello (Gumede, 56), F Ukah

Scoring Summary:
POR: Pore (penalty kick), 6
POR: Cameron, 89