Timbers finally end scoreless streak, but not enough as Thunder wins 2-1 in OT

July 27, 2001
at National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota

Goals:
22' - Portland: Mark Baena (Darren Sawatzky)
31' - Minnesota: Morgan Zeba (penalty kick)
99' - Minnesota: Amos Magee (John Menyongar)

The Timbers finally ended their 380 minute scoreless streak when Mark Baena scored in the 22nd minute, but it wasn't enough as Minnesota evened the score on a Morgan Zeba penalty kick, then the Thunder took the victory in the first overtime on an Amos Magee goal as the Thunder rally for a 2-1 overtime win in front of 7,514 hardy fans on a rainy night at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota.

A crowd of over 7,000 huddles under umbrellas

At the beginning of the match, both teams played very timid, trying to see how the pitch would play in the rain. But the pitch held up well, and the Thunder tried to push forward to midfield to break one of their forwards free, while the Timbers seemed to only be able to counterattack, looking for Darren Sawatzky or Mark Baena to get in position to make a run. In the 19th minute, after a Thunder corner kick was cleared out to the top of the box, John Menyongar was open from 18 yards out with a nearly open net, but his shot was saved off the line by midfielder Brian Winters.

In the 22nd minute, the Timbers counterattacking offense finally paid off when Sawatzky made a run down the right side, then crossed to Baena, who put the ball into the left side of the net, past a diving John Swallen, to break the Timbers scoreless streak, and give them a 1-0 lead.

Matt Napoleon punches out a Minnesota cross

In the 27th minute, the Thunder were pushing forward looking for the equalizer, and nearly evened the score when Menyongar curled a shot from 30 yards out that curved in towards the far post, but did not quite curl enough as it hit the right post and rebounded back out. But in the 31st minute, Portland's Jeff Clarke was called for a handball inside the box, and Morgan Zeba converted the resulting penalty kick to even the score at 1-1.

But the Timbers very nearly regained the lead in the 40th minute when the Thunder keeper cleared the ball directly to Baena, who momentarily had an open net from 30 yards out, but his quick shot went wide left. The match was even 1-1 as the teams went into the locker rooms for halftime.

As the second half began, the sky opened up and there were on-and-off periods of moderate to heavy rain throughout the second half. In the 61st minute, a give-and-go between Amos Magee and Corey Woolfolk had Magee chasing after the ball, and on a dry field might have been a one-on-one, but the ball slid across the wet grass, and Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon was able to get to the ball first. Two minutes later, a Brent Sancho cross had the Timbers' Michael O'Neill in position for a header, but his shot went right to Swallen for the save.

Don Gramenz cuts back while Mark Schulte moves up the line

In the 68th minute, Napoleon was forced to make a diving save when a long shot from Magee caught him off guard. One minute later, Minnesota's Paul Nowak took a hard shot from 15 yards out that Napoleon tipped over the bar. In the 78th minute, after a seemingly innocent play where Napoleon picked up a ball near the top of the box, as Nowak ran by Napoleon, who was shielding the ball from him, Nowak shoved Napoleon, and the referee saw it, issuing Nowak his second yellow card of the night, and Nowak was ejected. The Thunder would play the rest of the match down one man.

In the 85th minute, off a Thunder free kick, Zeba hit a hard shot from 25 yards out, that Napoleon had to tip wide. But in the 88th minute, the Timbers nearly pulled out the win when a header from the Thunder defender, intended for Swallen, dropped in front of surprised Scott Benedetti, who got to the ball just as Thunder defender Mark Schulte slid into the ball, and the shot deflected just over the bar, and regulation ended with the teams tied at 1-1.

Jeff Clarke makes a run up the sideline

In overtime, the first good chance came when the Thunder's Aaron Leventhal's shot from 30 yards went just barely wide right. But even though the Timbers had looked better in overtime, trying to take advantage of their man advantage, in the 99th minute, the Thunder ended the match when Zeba made a run down the right side, pinching as far as he could into the box before crossing to Menyongar at the top of the box. Menyongar's shot rebounded off Magee, who was about five yards out from goal, and the rebound went into the right side of the goal, giving the Thunder a 2-1 overtime win, leaving the Timbers winless in their past four matches.

Corey Woolfolk receives a pass from Gramenz as Clarke defends
Stats:
Shots: Timbers 8, Thunder 16
Saves: Timbers 7, Thunder 2
Fouls: Timbers 19, Thunder 24
Offsides: Timbers 13, Thunder 6
Corners: Timbers 1, Thunder 7

Cautions:
Timbers 4 (Winters 21' (yellow, made contact with referee), Clarke 30' (yellow, dissent), O'Neill 57' (yellow, shirt pulling), Sancho 66' (yellow, hard tackle))
Thunder 2 (Zeba 26' (yellow, dissent), Otto 76' (yellow, dissent))

Starters:
Portland: Matt Napoleon, Gavin Wilkinson, Brent Sancho, Matt Chulis, Jeff Clarke (Greg Howes 91'), Jesus Ochoa, Brian Winters, Michael O'Neill, Scott Benedetti, Darren Sawatzky, Mark Baena
Minnesota: John Swallen, Eric Otto, Mike Gentile (Steve Armas 91'), Morgan Zeba, Paul Nowak, John Menyongar, Mark Schulte, Aaron Leventhal, Chris Gores, Don Gramenz, Corey Woolfolk (Amos Magee 61')
Gramenz guarded by Brent Sancho

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