Afash and Somoza give Timbers first win
June 6, 2002 at PGE Park, Portland, Oregon
(Click on any match photo for an uncropped (~300K) version of each pic)

Brent Sancho plays the ball to Greg Howes (12)
25' - Portland: Fadi Afash (Jake Sagare)
36' - Portland: Fadi Afash (Greg Howes)
41' - Calgary: Nicolas Zuniga (Damir Jesic)
57' - Calgary: Felix Napuri (Kurt Bosch)
66' - Portland: Ben Somoza (Greg Howes)

After going winless in their first six games of the 2002 season, the Timbers finally broke into the win column on Thursday night with a 3-2 win over the Calgary Storm in front of 5,663 at PGE Park in Portland. Fadi Afash had the first two goals for the Timbers, but the Storm answered back on goals by Nicholas Zuniga and Felix Napuri to even the score at 2-2. Ben Somoza had the game-winner for the Timbers in the 66th minute. Greg Howes had two assists in his first game at PGE Park since being re-signed by the Timbers.

The first 25 minutes were almost entirely in midfield, with neither team getting a shot on goal, though both teams did push deep into the attacking end a few times. The first real scoring chance of the game also led to the first goal. Portland's Jake Sagare played a bouncing pass to Fadi Afash at the top of the box, and Afash nicely chipped over a charging Lars Hirschfeld with his first touch, and into the center of the net to put the Timbers up 1-0.

The next good scoring opportunity for either team was in the 32nd minute when off a Calgary corner kick, a header from Damir Jesic forced a diving save from Portland's Matt Napoleon. Four minutes later, Portland's Greg Howes found himself briefly open from 25 yards out, but his blast was tipped wide by Hirschfeld. But just seconds later, after the ensuing corner kick could not be completely cleared, a nice give and go between Afash and Howes had Afash charging in alone, and from about 5 yards out Afash blasted a shot into the narrow gap between Hirschfeld and the near post, and the Timbers had their first two goal lead of the season as they had a 2-0 lead.


Scott Benedetti attempts to keep control

But the lead wouldn't last long, as just four minutes later the Storm cut the lead in half. The Storm were attacking with only two players against four Timbers defenders, but Jesic played a nice header back to a trailing Nicolas Zuniga, who placed a nice shot inside the right post from 25 yards out, and the Timbers lead had been cut to 2-1 at the half.

Five minutes into the second half, the Storm appeared ready to tie when after a wild scramble in front of the Timbers net, Chris Lemire had a clear shot from the top of the box, but his attempt to shoot at the corner deflected off Portland's Scott Benedetti and out for a corner kick. But seven minutes later, the Storm made their opportunity pay off, when after some very physical play inside the Timbers box, Kurt Bosch came away with the ball and chipped to a charging Felix Napuri, who headed over Napoleon from an extreme angle, and the Timbers two-goal lead was gone.

In the 63rd minute, Calgary had a chance to take the lead when Lemire made a run and was open from 25 yards out, but his shot went about 3 or 4 yards wide right. On the counterattack, the Timbers put together a nice series of passes, from Brent Sancho, to Benedetti, to Howes, who attempted to chip a charging Hirschfeld from 18 yards out, but his shot was over the bar.


Peter Heidler takes the free kick

But just four minutes later, the Timbers got the chance they were looking for when after Sancho got control of an attempted Calgary clearance, he played forward to Howes, who held the ball while Ben Somoza made a run down the right side, and played a short through ball into Somoza's run, and Somoza blasted a nice shot into the far side netting from 5 yards out to put the Timbers into the lead again, by a 3-2 score.

In the 75th minute, the Storm nearly evened the score again when Bosch made a nice run from midfield and was open from 30 yards out and hit a hard shot in stride that forced a diving save to the right by Napoleon. The Storm controlled most of play for the rest of the game, but were having trouble pushing the ball forward, as the Timbers were dropping two midfielders and were able to clear any attack. In the 85th minute, a seemingly dangerous attack near the top of the circle was seemingly averted when Portland's Gavin Wilkinson blasted the ball out to midfield, but a foul was called on the clearance, and the Storm had a free kick from only 19 yards out. But the free kick by Bosch was over the net, and it would be the last good attack for the Storm as the Timbers held on for their first victory of the season.

The win moves the Timbers up a spot into fourth place in the Pacific Division, just three points behind third place El Paso with two games in hand.

Howes attempts to block a pass from Liam De Silva
Time: Thursday, June 6, 2002. 7:05 pm PDT
Venue: PGE Park, Portland, Oregon
Weather: 60 degrees, clear, windy at times
Attendance: 5,663



Sancho marked closely
Portland (4-4-2)
(Green and white stiped jersey, White shorts, White and green socks)
Greg Howes
(Rees Bettinger 83')
Fadi Afash
Jake SagareSean McAuley
(Ben Somoza 60')
Brian WintersScott Benedetti
Keith CostiganGavin WilkinsonBryn Ritchie
(Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar 45')
Brent Sancho
Matt Napoleon
Chris Smith, Vadim Tolstolutsky, Noah Delgado, McKinley Tennyson
Calgary (4-4-2)
(Red with white trim, Black shorts, Black and white socks)
Felix Napuri
(Hugo Martins 82')
Damir Jesic
Nicolas ZunigaKurt BoschPeter Heidler
(Chris Lemire 42')
Conrad Chala
Jamie AurigneLiam DesilvaMike PavicicNikolas Ledgerwood
Lars Hirschfeld
Jamie Glasnovic, Mark McKenna
Howes in his first game back at PGE Park
Bryn Ritchie controls the pass
Jake Sagare prepares to cross
Damir Jesic's header forced a diving save by Napoleon
Benedetti marked by Kurt Bosch and Heidler
Keith Costigan and Sagare marking Heidler
Match report and all photos by Allison Andrews

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