Timbers use two late goals to rally past Milwaukee, 3-2 in OT

July 28, 2001
at Milwaukee County Sports Complex

Goals:
27' - Milwaukee: Digital Takawira (David Hayes)
35' - Portland: Vadim Tolstolutsky (Greg Howes)
77' - Milwaukee: Igor Soso 77'
90' - Portland: Jeff Clarke (Michael O'Neill)
110' - Portland: Greg Howes (Tony McPeak) 110'

Although the Timbers were less than a minute away from losing for the second straight night, Jeff Clarke put in a goal late in regulation after a wild scramble in front of the net to send the game to overtime. Then, after having had very few chances in overtime, the Timbers made their best chance count when the Milwaukee connection, Tony McPeak to Greg Howes, produced a goal in the last minute of overtime as the Timbers rallied for a 3-2 overtime win in front of 2,316 at the Milwaukee County Sports Complex. McPeak and Howes had been teammates on the Milwaukee Wave indoor team during the past season.

Michael O'Neill heads towards goal, a shot that Jeff Clarke would put in for the tying goal

The Timbers rested a few regulars after having played less than 24 hours before in Minnesota. Darren Sawatzky started the game from the bench, as did Jeff Clarke, who was nursing an injury. The Timbers had the first good chance of the match in the 11th minute when Michael O'Neill found Mark Baena near the top of the box, but his shot from 15 yards went well over the bar. Three minutes later, Greg Howes and Baena executed a perfect give and go as Baena dropped a pass from Howes back into Greg's path, but his hard shot from 20 yards out was saved by a diving save by Rampage goalkeeper Dan Popik.

But after the corner kick was cleared, a few diagonal passes had Milwaukee's Digital Takawira with a good chance from just outside the box, but his shot went wide right. In the 19th minute, Portland's Scott Benedetti and Baena broke through with a 2 on 1, and Benedetti's through ball found Baena near the top of the box, at an angle to the keeper's right, but his attempt to chip to the far corner was wide right. One minute later, Takawira had a good chance with a hard shot from 20 yards that was deflected by Portland's Matt Chulis.

Milwaukee County Sports Complex

The Rampage were putting more pressure on Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon during this stretch of the game, and it finally paid off for the Rampage in the 27th minute after forward David Hayes made a deep run to the keeper's left. His shot deflected to the left, but the rebound deflected into the goal mouth, where Takawira was wide open, and he tapped into an open lead to give the Rampage a 1-0 lead. Five minutes later, the Rampage looked ready to double the lead when Hayes played a diagonal ball through the box into the run of Takawira, but Benedetti got his foot on the ball at the same time as the Rampage forward, and the shot went harmlessly wide left.

The Timbers started pushing their midfielders a little further forward during the next stretch, and in the 35th minute, their first good chance at goal leveled the score when Baena played a cross from the left side that Howes trapped in the box, but slipped on the slightly wet grass and was unable to turn. Instead, he dropped the ball to a charging Vadim Tolstolutsky, who pounded a hard, low shot into the left side of the goal, evening the score at 1-1. The last good chance of the half for either team was a low shot from 20 yards by Hayes that Napoleon had to drop down quickly to make a reaction save, and the half ended with the score level at 1-1.

Matt Napoleon saved this shot, but the rebound was put in by Igor Soso

During the first 15 minutes of the second half, neither team seemed to want to push forward, and both goalkeepers had a few easy saves, but no serious scoring threat. In the 62nd minute, a high diagonal ball from near midfield had Milwaukee's Igor Soso behind the Timbers defense, but Napoleon came off his line to cut down the angle, and made a diving save to keep the score even. In the 72nd minute, Milwaukee had another breakaway chance when Khary Stockton got in behind the last defender, but his shot from 25 yards went across the goalmouth and wide to the right.

In the 77th minute, the Rampage got a free kick just outside the Timbers box to the keeper's left when Benedetti fouled Takawira. The free kick curled towards the far corner, where Napoleon made a diving save, but the rebound went to Soso, whose first shot from 10 yards out was blocked back to him, but he sent the second shot high, barely under the bar and into the net to put the home team up 2-1. The Rampage then went into a more defensive posture to protect their lead. In the 84th minute, the Timbers had a free kick from just outside the Rampage box, but Howes' shot went wide right.

Matt Napoleon

It appeared the Timbers were on their way to their second 2-1 loss, but during the 2nd and final minute of stoppage time, defender Brent Sancho sent a throw-in from near the corner into the box, when a failed attempt to clear trickled the ball in front of the net, when O'Neill's header towards the net didn't seem to have enough pace to get in, but second-half substitute Jeff Clarke, who was not expected to play, ran onto the ball and pounded it into the net to even the score at 2-2 just before the full time whistle.

In the first overtime, the Rampage totally dominated control of the ball. In the 92nd minute, the Rampage had a free kick from 25 yards out that cleared the wall, but Napoleon made a diving save to his left. The Rampage tried to attack using possession, and they were keeping control of the ball at will, but couldn't break through. In the 96th minute, the Timbers finally pushed forward when Baena dropped the ball for a charging Howes, but his shot went barely wide right.

Mark Baena is unable to run down a through ball, which Dan Popik controls

In the second overtime, the Timbers were keeping better control of the ball, but it appeared the match was going to end in a tie until the last minute of overtime when Tony McPeak made a high diagonal cross from about 40 yards out that was into the run of Howes, who had beaten the offside because one Rampage defender had not moved up quickly enough. Howes dribbled a few times, putting Popik out at an angle, then shot the ball through the keeper's legs and into the net, and the Timbers had their first overtime win of the year, and ended their four game winless streak with a 3-2 overtime win.

Jesus Ochoa guarded by Steve Bernal
Stats:
Shots: Timbers 11, Rampage 26
Saves: Timbers 6, Rampage 3
Fouls: Timbers 19, Rampage 20
Offsides: Timbers 3, Rampage 5
Corners: Timbers 4, Rampage 5

Cautions:
Timbers 3 (Sancho 45' (yellow, hard tackle), Howes 63' (yellow, push), Benedetti 77' (yellow, tackle from behind))
Rampage 1 (Dombrowsky 110' (yellow, dissent)

A Timbers header eludes Alen Soso (17) and Gavin Wilkinson
Starters:
Portland: Matt Napoleon, Gavin Wilkinson, Brent Sancho, Matt Chulis (Tony McPeak 85'), Jesus Ochoa (Jeff Clarke 71'), Brian Winters, Michael O'Neill, Scott Benedetti (Keither Costigan 77'), Vadim Tolstolutsky (Darren Sawatzky 96'), Mark Baena, Greg Howes
Milwaukee: Dan Popik, Steve Bernal (Khary Stockton 84'), Destin Makumbu, Igor Soso, Digital Takawira, David Hayes (Dennis Fadeski 84'), Jason Russell (Mike Butcher 62') , Alen Soso, Chad Prince (Scott Dombrowski 76'), Philippe Godoy (Brian Doherty 46'), Dave Vaudreuil
Greg Howes looks to cross

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