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Manchester City tops Timbers 3-0 at Merlo Field

TimbersA look back: Players reflect on facing Manchester City

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Manchester City kicked off their pre-season schedule with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday night in Oregon

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JULY 17, 2010
Timbers get good scoring chances, but Manchester City uses two late first half goals for 3-0 win
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The Portland Timbers faced English Premier League power Manchester City on Saturday night, and after several chances to take an early lead, gave up late first half goals to Stephen Ireland and Emmanuel Adebayor, and then Jo added a second half goal for a 3-0 win by Manchester City over the Timbers in front of a full house of 5,018 at Portland's Merlo Field.

Manchester City had a few early crosses that were snared by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin, but the early scoring chances were for the home side, with the first chance for the Timbers perhaps the best of the match in the sixth minute when Alex Nimo made a nice run down the right side, and crossed nicely to Derek Gaudet, whose point-blank shot was saved well by goalkeeper Joe Hart.

In the ninth minute, the Timbers were within inches of taking the lead when Bright Dike's run down the left side produced a nice cross to George Josten, whose header from 8 yards out nearly took the paint off the right post as it slipped barely wide.

The first good chance for Manchester City would come in the 14th minute when a free kick from just outside the Timbers box by Adam Johnson was headed just over the bar by Patrick Viera. Four minute later, the Timbers had another good look when Nimo poked a pass to Tony McManus, whose shot from 20 yards was blocked by a City defender.

On the counterattack, Manchester City had a good chance when Craig Bellamy made a run across the top of the box, dropping a pass to Pablo Zabaleta, whose blast from 20 yards out was only just over the crossbar. Action was end-to-end at the moment as the Timbers would produce another good chance on the counterattack with Nimo turning on the ball near the corner of the City box, but blasted well high and wide.

In the 23rd minute, it would be the visitors who were within inches of the lead when Bellamy made another run across the top of the box, getting an open look straight out from goal, and his blast from 18 yards out would rattle the crossbar near the top left corner but would rebound back out and was cleared by the Timbers defense.

In the 26th minute, another deep run by Manchester City's Bellamy caused trouble in the Timbers box when after the cross defeclted off Ian Joy, was contested by Emmanuel Adabayor and Cronin, with the Timbers goalkeeper taking the worst of the collision but managing to punch the ball out for a corner, which produced no threat for the visitors.

Starting in the 34th minute, the Timbers would get a few more chances, first with Ryan Pore getting an open look after a free kick rebounded to him, but his shot was well over the bar. And then shortly after, Dike was able to shield the ball from two Man City defenders on a long ball, but his shot was blocked by defender Ben Mee. Then shortly afterwards, the Timbers got another good chance when Steve Purdy made a deep run, dropping to Josten, whose shot from 8 yards out was wide left.

And then in the 43rd minute, Manchester City would benefit from a very lucky bounce when a cross from Johnson hit off the back of Stephen Ireland, which rebounded in off the left post, and with the freak goal, the visitors had a 1-0 lead.

Then literally seconds later, the lead was doubled when Johnson's high cross was headed by Adabayor, with Cronin getting his hand on the ball but not keeping the ball out, and suddenly a 0-0 match was a 2-0 Manchester City lead. It would be the last chance of the half for either team, and the visitors would take the 1-0 lead to the locker room.

As expected, both teams made wholesale changes at halftime, each team changing most of their lineup for the second half.

It would take until the 60th minute before either team seemed ready to threaten, when City's Jeremy Helan made a nice run down the left side, eluding the sliding tackle by Mamadou Danso, finding forward Jo inside the Timbers box, but his shot was well over the crossbar from only 8 yards out. Then about a minute later, it was Gregory Cunningham making a nice run, with his low cross just eluding two City forwards as it slipped through the box.

The first good chance of the half for the Timbers would be in the 67th minute when Takayuki Suzuki made a deep run down the left side and unleashed a tight-angle shot that had to be punched clear by City goalkeeper Stuart Taylor. But then on the counter attack, Jo would get a second chance when he recovered his own rebound, but his follow-up shot wasn't very powerfully hit, but snuck in past Cronin into the lower right corner for a 3-0 Manchester City lead.

The Timbers would get an unexpectedly good chance in the 82nd minute when Doug DeMartin recovered his own pass that had been rebounded back to him, and his blast from 30 yards out curled wickedly and slipped past the right post. On the ensuing counterattack, Manchester City had another good chance when Andrew Tutte's curling shot was smothered by Cronin.

Shortly afterwards, the Timbers had another great chance when Rodrigo Lopez made a nice run into the City box, and his attempted shot found Mandjou Keita with a brief chance as Taylor had been looking for a cross, but Keita could not recover the ball quickly enough and the chance was lost.

In the 85h minute, DeMartin produced another good chance when he was able to chip the ball over Taylor near the edge of the box, but could not get a shot on goal as the defense recovered. Three minutes later, the Timbers had another good chance with DeMartin having a shot stopped by Keita who was between him and the goal, but it rebounded to Quavas Kirk, who had an open look from the top of the box, but the Timbers defender's shot slipped just past the left post.

It would be the last scoring chance, and the match would end with Manchester City with a 3-0 win that was a fair win, if a rather unfair scoreline.

Steve Cronin would record two saves for the Timbers while Matt Pyzdrowski was not credited with the save. In the Manchester City net, Joe Hart would be credited with two saves while Stuart Taylor had four.

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

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eport and all photos by Allison Andrews E-mail at

Return to the The Timber Mill