Timbers offense explodes in 5-2 win over Milwaukee

August 30, 2001
at PGE Park, Portland, Oregon

The Woodshed keeps the chants going behind the north goal
7' - Portland: Mark Baena (Jeff Clarke)
10' - Milwaukee: Judah Cooks
33' - Portland: Greg Howes
40' - Portland: Greg Howes (Matt Chulis)
72' - Portland: Michael O'Neill (Keith Costigan)
83' - Portland: Michael O'Neill (penalty kick)
89' - Milwaukee: Mike Silvinski

After a streak where the Timbers only scored one goal in three consecutive losses, the Timbers have been putting the ball into the net with a vengeance, scoring 12 goals in 4 matches, culminating in a 5-2 throttling of the Milwaukee Rampage tonight at PGE Park in front of a crowd of 7,816. Greg Howes and Michael O'Neill scored twice for the Timbers, with Mark Baena also scoring as he scored the first goal of the evening.

Scott Benedetti leaps for a corner kick

But it was the Rampage who had the first good scoring chance, only three minutes into the match. Milwaukee's David Hayes played a nice cross across the box into the run of Steve Butcher, but the ball was a foot or so too far in front for him to get a shot. The Timbers' first good chance came in the 7th minute, and just like Sunday, the Timbers converted on their first good chance.

Jeff Clarke was about 40 yards out from goal with his back to the net, and he chipped the ball back over his shoulder and perfectly into the run of Tmbers forward Mark Baena, who beat Rampage goalkeeper Henry Ring into the top center of the goal from 10 yards out to give the Timbers an early 1-0 lead.

But the Timbers have had trouble holding early leads this year, and this match was no exception. Just three minutes later, after the Timbers failed to clear a Rampage cross, Bato Radoncic gained possession near the top of the box, kept possession long enough to get a good shot, which went directly into Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon's chest. He was unable to control the ball however, and the ball fell directly to the foot of Judah Cooks, who put the ball into the upper right corner of the net to level the score at 1-1.

Mark Baena goes arial as Henry Ring clears a ball out of the Rampage box

In the 21st minute, the Timbers had another good chance when a give-and-go between Greg Howes and Baena had Howes open briefly from 15 yards, but his shot went a yard wide right. Four minutes later, the Rampage had a golden opportunity when a long through ball to Hayes had the Rampage forward in alone, but the Timbers defense caught to him, and he got a shot off after cutting back, but Napoleon saved the shot, then covered the loose ball.

In the 32nd minute, a Timbers corner kick was too far through the box for anyone to attempt a header, but Howes controlled the ball and moved out to the top of the box, then accelerated back into the box, and hit a hard, low shot from 15 yards that beat Ring to the far side to put the Timbers back in front by a 2-1 score. After just missing wide left off a corner kick in the 35th minute, the Timbers tallied again in the 40th minute when a long Matt Chulis cross from the right side was headed by Howes, who climbed well over a defender and put a hard shot to the far corner from 15 yards that put the Timbers up 3-1.

Greg Howes just about to head in the third goal of the match, off a Matt Chulis cross

The Rampage nearly pulled closer during added time in the first half when a wild scramble in front of the net had a shot trickling towards net, but Scott Benedetti cleared the ball off the line, and the Timbers led 3-1 at the half.

The visitors attempted to push more players forward at the beginning of the second half, and after a free kick from just outside the Timbers box, Philipe Godoy had an open look from 20 yards out, but his shot at the lower right corner was saved by Napoleon, who dove to his left to smother the ball. In the 61st minute, the Rampage were on the attack again when Craig Charlton made a diagonal run into the Timbers box, but his shot was kept out by a point-blank save by Napoleon. On the ensuing counterattack, the Timbers nearly widened the lead when Clarke played a rolling cross through the crease that got through the Rampage defense untouched, but Benedetti was unable to get to the ball to tap it into an open net.

Goal mouth action during the first half

The Rampage were pushing even more players forward, keeping only three defenders back, and in the 72nd minute, the Timbers took advantage of it. A long ball from the back from Keith Costigan cleared the Rampage defense into the run of Timbers midfielder Michael O'Neill, who beat the last defender as he cut back, but the ball got loose a bit and he and the Rampage keeper got to the ball at about the same time, but O'Neill was able to chip the ball over the Rampage keeper, who barely deflected the ball, but not enough to keep it out of the goal, and the Timbers had a 4-1 lead.

The Timbers defense had packed in for most of the second half, and the Rampage were having trouble getting into the Timbers box and resorted to long shots that Napoleon had no trouble with. In the 79th minute, Butcher had a good chance when he attempted to chip from 20 yards, but Napoleon was able to get to the ball just in time to keep it ouf of the net.

Keith Costigan

In the 83rd minute, second-half substitute Darin Lewis pushed forward and into the box and stopped near the endline, where he was knocked over the endline by Rampage substitute Scott Dombrowski, and a penalty kick was awarded. O'Neill shot the ball to the keeper's left as the Rampage keeper guessed wrong, and the Timbers had scored five goals for the first time this season as the widened the lead to 5-1.

The Rampage now sent everyone forward, and it nearly paid off in the 86th minute when a Rampage free kick from 25 yards rebounded off the wall and was headed for the upper left corner of the goal before Napoleon made a diving save to deflect it just wide left. The Rampage did finally score again in the 89th minute when second half substitute Mike Slivinski hit a rocket from 30 yards that beat Napoleon to the upper right corner, but, it was much to little much too late as the Timbers held on for a 5-2 victory over the Rampage, completing a season sweep of the Rampage, and moving the Timbers to within one point of the Rampage who are currently in 2nd place in the Western Conference.

Scott Benedetti marked by Brian Doherty
Shots: Timbers 10, Rampage 13
Saves: Timbers 6, Rampage 2
Fouls: Timbers 27, Rampage 29
Offside: Timbers 0, Rampage 4
Corners: Timbers 5, Rampage 4
Timbers 4 (Clarke 45' (yellow, hard tackle), Baena 45' (yellow, dissent), Winters 63' (kicking dead ball out of bounds), O'Neill '81 (yellow, hard tackle))
Rampage 2 (Cooks 34' (yellow, hard tackle), Radonic 67' (yellow, knocked down Winters after play was over)

Portland: Matt Napoleon, Brent Sancho, Gavin Wilkinson, Keith Costigan, Matt Chulis, Brian Winters, Michael O'Neill, Jeff Clarke, Scott Benedetti, Mark Baena, Greg Howes (Darin Lewis 81').
Milwaukee: Henry Ring, Destiu Makumbu (Scott Dombrowski 70'), Judah Cooks, Dennis Fadeski (Matt Bobo 71'), Steve Bernal, Jason Russell (Mike Slivinski 62'), Brian Doherty (Craig Charlton 57'), Bato Radoncic, Philipe Godoy (David Henning 75'), Steve Butcher, David Hayes
Gavin Wilkinson

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