|45' - Portland: Hugo Alcaraz|
|74' - Portland: Gavin Wilkinson (Ben Somoza)|
|88' - Los Angeles: Brian Mullan|
The Timbers debuted their new-look roster tonight in a friendly against the Los Angeles Galaxy at PGE Park, but once again showed that they can play with the best as Hugo Alcaraz and Gavin Wilkinson both scored in a 2-1 victory of the MLS Galaxy in front of 6,694 soaked fans at PGE Park. Brian Mullan had the late lone goal for the Galaxy.
The start of the match was signaled by a sudden downpour as a heavy rain soaked the field during the first few minutes of the match, but after that the rain let up and most of the match was played on soaked turf, but with no rain and good footing. In the third minute, Ezra Hendrickson had the Galaxy threatening when he controlled a loose ball near the top of the box, but his attempt to turn and shoot was blocked by Timbers defender Brent Sancho. During the next fifteen minutes, neither team made a serious run as both teams felt out each other, with each goalkeeper having to come out to meet a cross or collect a though ball. In the 20th minute the Timbers had the first good scoring chance when Vadim Tolstolutsky found himself open from 25 yards out, but his hard shot went directly at Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman. Ten minutes later, Simon Elliot took a hard shot from the top of the box that Napoleon was able to deflect.
Both teams were having trouble building their attack for several minutes, with neither goalkeeper being tested, even though both teams had two free kick opportunities from under 30 yards from goal. In the 37th minute, the Timbers once again had a good scoring opportunity when Hugo Alcaraz pushed through a seam in the Galaxy defense at the top of the box, but his well placed but weak shot towards the lower left corner was smothered by the Galaxy keeper.A minute later, the Timbers seemed ready to take the early lead when a Keith Costigan cross was headed back across the goal mouth by Chugger Adair, but a charging Alcaraz was unable to put the ball into the net under tight marking from a Galaxy defender.
When it appeared a rather uneventful first half was about to end in a scoreless draw, Alcaraz played a give-and-go with McKinley Tennyson and was able to avoid two Galaxy defenders and chipped just inside the left post from the top of the box, past a charging Hartman, to give the Timbers a 1-0 halftime lead.
At the start of the second half, the Galaxy opened up their offense, and nearly tied the match in the 50th minute when a cross into the box found Brian Mullan unmarked at the far post, but his shot from point blank range was blocked by Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon and cleared by the Timbers defense. In the 58th minute, a Timbers free kick into the box was not cleared, and shots from Gavin Wilkinson, and Tennyson were both saved by Hartman before the ball was cleared over the endline.
In the 73rd minute, a Timbers cross found Sancho open about six yards out, but his header was tipped over the crossbar by Hartmann. But just one minute later, the Timbers widened the lead when a Ben Somoza corner kick was headed home from six yards out by Wilkinson to put the Timbers up 2-0.
In the 82nd minute, after Alejandro Moreno went down after being challenged in the box by Sancho, a penalty kick was awarded. But Marico Cienfuegos was unable to take advantage of the penalty, as his shot to the left was saved by Napoleon and cleared by the Timbers defense. A few minutes later, a Galaxy free kick from 35 yards out hit off the top of the crossbar and bounded high into the air, but was cleared by the Timbers defense.
But in the 88th minute, the Galaxy got the bounce they needed when former Timber Jesus Ochoa took a hard shot from 25 yards out hit off the inside of the left post, and bounced diagonally across the goal mouth into the run of Mullan, who tapped easily into the net to narrow the margin to 2-1.
The Galaxy had a few late free kicks from inside 35 yards, but were unable to threaten again, and for the second year in a row, the Timbers took down an MLS team by a 2-1 score.
More pictures can be found on Peter B's Timbers Fan Page
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