OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS
First-half goal leads Baltimore over Timbers 1-0
Crystal Palace Baltimore
Palace Stun Timbers for First Win
Timbers: Baltimore stuns Portland with 1-0 victory
Shocker: Timbers Lose to Royal Palace Baltimore 1-0
MAY 13, 2010
Close doesn't count, Timbers fall to Crystal Palace Baltimore by a 1-0 score
It was a frighteningly familiar result for fans who have seen the Timbers play teams at the bottom of the league, especially in the past few years, as the Timbers failed to put away a team they were expected to beat, and gave up a lone goal that they couldn’t answer. It was Yaikel Perez who would score the lone goal for Crystal Palace Baltimore in a 1-0 loss in front of 8,817 at PGE Park.
The opening minutes had little action at all, with the first shot of the entire match not coming until a Baltimore shot right at Portland keeper Steve Cronin in the 17th minute. Three minutes later the visitors had another good look, but Lucio Gonzaga’s shot from outside the top of the box was well wide right.
The Timbers had their first good chance in the 27th minute Mandjou Keita dropped a pass to George Josten, but his one timer was off the left post and then cleared. It would be the first of several bounces off the woodwork for Timbers strikers on the night.
But two minutes later, Baltimore would take a surprise lead when off a throw-in, a low cross from Pat Healey was expertly finished by a diving header by Yaikel Perez, and Crystal Palace had grabbed an early 1-0 lead.
The first half would stay generally even with each teams getting a few more chances, with the best chance for the Timbers coming in the 40th minute when an Alex Nimo cross found Keita open 6 yards out, but his header was just over the bar. Baltimore had one more good look before the halftime break, with Perez getting a good look from the top of the box, but his shot was right at Cronin and easily saved, and Baltimore would hold a 1-0 lead.
The Timbers would set the tone early in the second half that they would be pressing forward with more urgency, with Takayuki Suzuki testing Baltimore goalkeeper Evan Bush early in the second half, then Josten getting a good chance from the top of the box shortly afterwards, but putting the shot over the crossbar.
Baltimore would two of their best scoring chances of the second half in the 57th minute, first when Mathew Mbuta made a nice run across the top of the Timbers box but his shot was right at Cronin, then a few seconds later on a counterattack by Randi Patterson down the left side, only kept out by a kick save by the Timbers keeper.
Portland’s Suzuki had another good look from outside the box in the 62nd minute, and once again, might have been better off passing as he may have had more time than he expected, but his shot was right at the Baltimore keeper. Four minutes later, the Timbers would have another good chance when Keita flicked on a pass to Josten, but the Timbers forward’s header was only kept out by a full diving save by Bush, by far his best save on the night.
In the 73rd minute, Ryan Pore had a good chance as he charged at the post, but his lunging shot was blocked by a retreating defender. Off the ensuing corner kick, Nimo had a dipping shot from outside the box just mist wide left. The Timbers were controlling almost all of the run of play by this time, and would find the woodwork again in the 76th minute, this time when a header by Keita off a Scot Thompson cross hit off the right post but was also cleared by the Baltimore defense.
To complete the Timbers woodwork trifecta on the night, Keita would put a header off the crossbar in the 79th minute off a Pore corner kick. Off the ensuing corner kick, a Josten header would produce the first of several on-the-line saves by Bush, with most of his body going back into the goal, but the ball remaining just barely outside the goal line.
In the 89th minute, the Timbers found yet another way to keep close chances out of the goal, this time by blocking their own shot, as Pore’s shot from the top of the box was stopped accidentally by Keita, who had run into the path of the shot and the shot hit off his back on the way to goal.
Three minutes into five minutes of stoppage time (which seemed too much, despite some time-wasting by the visitors), a Josten header once again had Bush on his line to make a save, but again kept it just inches from going over the goal line. A minute later, a Doug DeMartin header had Bush once again with his body in the goal, and the ball just outside the goal line, in what must have seemed like an instant replay by now to Timbers fans.
The Timbers would have a last good chance at the end of stoppage time with a free kick from 25 yards out directly from the center of net, but Pore’s free kick was off the wall, but Pore flicked the rebound into the run of Josten in the box, and a seemingly open chance went unfinished as Josten could only get a soft touch on the ball from only a few yards out, but it would be the late chance as near domination of the second half would never pay off, and Crystal Palace Baltimore would get their first ever win at this level, holding on for the 1-0 victory.
After the whistle, the coaches had to be separated as Baltimore coach Jim Cherneski went over to Timbers coach Gavin Wilkinson and started yelling and pointing at the Timbers coach before the team staffs finally separated the coaches, with Cherneski still yelling after they were separated.
Steve Cronin had five saves for the Timbers in the losing effort, while Evan Bush had four for Baltimore.