Team Match Reports
Timbers U-23s with 13th straight, defeat Abbotsford 2-1

JULY 9, 2010
Timbers have trouble finishing, but hold on for 2-1 win over Abbotsford

The Timbers U23ís would maintain their perfect record on Friday night with a win over the visiting Abbotsford Mariners, but it would not be an easy win as the Timbers had trouble with finishing, and in the end would need both goals, first from Brent Richards, then from Steven Evans to hold on for 2-1 win on a warm evening at Gresham High School. Stuart Rowlands would get the lone goal for the Mariners, only the fourth the Timbers have given up this season.

It would be defender Brock Granger that would have the first scoring chance for the Timbers, when he cut across the top of the box after a deep run down the left side in the 5th minute, but his shot from the top of the box was blocked by an Abbotsford defender. The Timbers nearly gave away the lead in the 18th minute when Graham Dugoni headed back errantly to goalkeeper Steve Spangler, but he was able to make a save to prevent an embarrassing own goal.

Starting in the 20th minute, the Timbers would get some good scoring chances, first with Brian Ramsey missing just left from 20 yards out in the 20th minute, then with Ramsey having a shot saved in the 23rd minute by a good save by Andrew Kowan, then also saving a close-in rebound by Brent Richards. Three minutes later it was Richards with a great chance for the Timbers on a breakaway, but as he attempted to tap the ball around the Abbotsford keeperís right side, Kowan was able to snare the ball and stop the threat.

In the 29th minute, Richards had another breakaway chance for the Timbers, and was able to barely get the shot off past Kowan has he charged out, but the shot trickled just past the right post. In the 36th minute it would be Portlandís Roberto Farfan with a good chance from close-in off a corner kick, but Kowan made a nice reaction save and tipped the bar over the crossbar.

Two minutes later, it would be Timbers midfielder Michael Neilson making a nice diagonal run towards the Abbotsford post, but his tight angle shot from only five hards out was off the left post and over the endline.

But in the 39th minute, Richards had another breakaway chance, and this time made the chance pay as he slipped the shot just inside the right post and gave the Timbers a 1-0 lead, which is where it would stand at the half.

It would be Portlandís Ramsey with the next good chance in the 58th minute, with a low blast from 25 yards out forcing a diving save from Kowan. Two minutes later it would be another long blast from the Timbers, this one from Steven Evans as he controlled a poor Abbotsford clearance, and this shot from 30 yards out would be perfectly placed into the upper left corner, leaving the Mariners keeper with no chance for the save, and the Timbers had a 2-0 lead.

The two goal deficit seemed to give the Mariners some motivation, and they had their best run of play for the entire match over the next 10 minutes or so, with Mike Riehl forcing a diving save from Spangler on a shot from 20 yards out in the 62nd minute. Seven minutes later, Stuart Rowlands would make the pressure pay off for the visitors when he jumped on a rebound, and blasted home from close range to pull the Mariners back within a goal at 2-1.

The Timbers responded with some good chances of their own, with Richards getting an open look off a cross in the 71st minute, but his header was over the bar. Richards had another good look one minute later from 25 yards out, but the shot slipped just wide left. In the 77th minute a cross from the left side from Farfan just eluded Timbers forward Richard Abrego who was open at the far post.

Richards had another good chance from just inside the top of the box in the 79th minute with his shot being blocked off a Mariners defender, then the rebound shot by Ryan Kawulok going over the crossbar.

In the 84th minute, a long ball from midfield had Richards in alone again, but Kowan did well to come off his line and cleared the ball barely in time. Two minutes later, Richards played a nice pass to Abrego who had a good look from a tight angle, but put the shot just past the right post.

In the 87th minute, the Mariners would have one last chance to equalize, but a shot from the top of the Timbers box from Rowlands would be smothered by Spangler, and the Mariners would not threaten again and the Timbers held on for the 2-1, their 13th straight victory on the season.

(Click each pic to get a much larger picture)

Match report and all photos by Allison Andrews E-mail at

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