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Timbers battle Stars to 2-2 draw at PGE Park

Stars tie 10-man Portland 2-2

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Timbers play to a tie in front of MLS coach

Portland Tribune
Mixed bag hands Timbers 2-2 draw with Minnesota
AUGUST 11, 2010
Timbers see red (again), and lose late lead to Stars in 2-2 draw

When it comes to seeing the NSC Minnesota Stars visiting PGE Park, it seems the three constants are a Portland Timbers player will be ejected, Minnesota's Ely Allen will score, and the result will be disappointing, and tonight was no except as the Timbers couldn't hold a late lead after Ian Joy was sent off, and have to be happy with a 2-2 draw in front of a packed crowd of 15,416 at PGE Park. Bright Dike and Ryan Pore would score for the Timbers, while Ely Allen and Simone Bracalello scored for the Stars.

The first good look for either team was in the 3rd minute, with Portland's James Marcelin getting a good look from 30 yards out, but his shot was weak and wide right. Three minutes later, Minnesota's Melvin Tarley had a good look from 30 yards out, and his blast forced a diving save by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin.

The Timbers would get another great chance in the 10th minute, off a free kick, the rebound fell to Ryan Pore, whose shot from 18 yards out was just tipped over the crossbar by Joe Warren. Six minutes later, the Timbers had another similar chance when a free kick feell to Takayuki Suzuki, but his rebound shot was just wide left.

The Timbers continued to maintain most of the possession, and two minutes later, Bright Dike fought his way through the box and received a nice pass from Alex Nimo, and had a great chance from close in, but Warren covered the near post well and smothered the shot.

In the 24th minute, after having very little possession and few chances, the visitors would make one of their rare scoring chances pay off when after drawing what seemed to be a touch foul near midfield. After a failed Timbers clearance, Ely Allen barely stayed onside ona chipped pass from Andrei Gotsmanov, and finished easily inside the right post to take a 1-0 lead.

In the 31st minute, Pore had a great chance when he made a nice cutback after a run down the right side, but his attempted move to get an open look was intercepted by the Minnesota defense and cleared.

In the 39th minute, off a free kick from 35 yards out, Portland's Bright Dike would take a shot off the tapped restart, but his blast was just over the crossbar. But just before halftime, Dike would fight to control the ball after Pore headed it to him just inside the top of the box, but then settled and stuck with his left foot, with Warren just getting a finger on the ball, but not enough to stop the shot, and the Timbers had drawn level at 1-1, which would be the score at the break.

Two minutes into the second half, Pore would have an open look for the home side on a header off a free kick service from Ian Joy, but would miss wide right from 10 yards out. Eight minutes later, the Timbers had another good chance when Rodrigo Lopez curled a shot from the corner of the Stars box that slipped just past the right post.

Then in the 61st minute, would be some baffling calls (or non-calls) when two consecutive Timbers seem to have been taken down from behind as last-man situations, first when Dike was taken down by Kyle Altman, and then Pore was taken down in the box by Scott Lorenz. Though center referee Yader Reyes allowed play to continue after the foul on Dike (which was signaled by the assistant), and did award a penalty, there were no cautions or ejections given for the last-man fouls. But Pore would step up and beat Warren after sending the keeper the wrong way, and the Timbers had a 2-1 lead.

But before the Timbers Army could finish celebrating, the Timbers would be go down a man on a straight red near midfield on a foul by Joy, though the ejection also resulted in the ejection of Minnesota coach Manny Lagos, who threw his jacket onto the pitch after having been warned to stay in his area earlier, so the bizarre few minutes of non-calls and ejections meant the Timbers would have to try to protect their lead while down a player.

Shortly afterwards, off the ensuing free kick, Brian Cvilikas had an open header for the Stars, but put the shot wide right. Minnesota was finding a lot more space now and maintaining possession, and Simone Bracalello had a good chance from close-in in the 72nd minute that was only kept out by a reaction save by Cronin as he tipped it over the bar. But on the ensuing corner kick by Gotsmanov, Bracalello found the space and headed well and just under the crossbar, and the Stars had pulled even at 2-2.

In the 82nd minute, Allen had a chance for a second goal as he had a blast in the 82nd minute from 30 yards out that was barely over the crossbar. And though there were some long ball chances from both teams, nobody really threatened again, the match would end level at 2-2.

Steve Cronin had three saves for the Timbers, while Joe Warren had three for the Stars.

(Click each pic to get a much larger picture)

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

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llison Andrews E-mail at

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