Team Match Reports
Timbers fall 1-0 to Montreal Impact at PGE Park

Impact 1 Portland 0

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Montreal 1, Portland 0: Plenty of shots but no goal for Timbers against Impact

MAY 19, 2010
Same old story: Domination but disappointment as Timbers fall 1-0 to Montreal

In what's becoming a frustratingly familiar story for the Portland Timbers, they would play a match where they dominated possession, dominated shots, had many good scoring chances, and limited their opponents to very few chances at goal. Unfortunately the result was also the same, as once again they would give up a goal on what was really the only good scoring chance of the night, and never found the net themselves in a 1-0 loss to the Montreal Impact in front of 6,573 at PGE Park in a wet, windy midweek match. Tony Donatelli would get that lone goal for the Impact and it would hold up despite a barrage of Timbers chances to level.

It would be the visitors with the first shot on goal, as Tony Donatelli took a shot from 20 yards out that was a few yards wide left. The Timbers would get their first good look four minutes later when an Alex Nimo cross to Mandjou Keita was just a bit too high and cleared at the far post of the Montreal goal.

In the 14th minute, of a Timbers free kick, the clearance came right to Timbers midfielder Johan Claesson, but his shot from near the corner of the box was right at Montreal goalkeeper Srdjan Djekanovic and easily saved.

In the 27th minute, it would be the home side on the attack again when OJ Obatola slid a diagonal pass into the run of Keita, but the Montreal keeper was just able to smother the pass before the Timbers forward could get a foot on the ball. One minute later, off a Timbers free kick, Nimo had an open look from 20 yards out when the ball rebounded out to him, but his shot was blocked by a Montreal defender. Off the ensuing corner kick, it was Nimo again with a good look, this time from closer in to keeper's left, but his shot was well over the crossbar.

But in the 30th minute, a bit against the run of play since Montreal seemed to be happy to pack in their defense and absorb the Timbers pressure, Impact defender Stephen deRoux made a run down the right side, finding Eduardo Sebrango near the top of the box who directed a pass to a charging Donatelli, who blasted into the top right corner, and put the Impact up 1-0.

Seven minutes later, Nimo had another good look for the Timbers, but once again his shot from 15 yards out was over the bar. Just before the half, the home side would have a few more good chances, with Claesson's knuckling shot from 20 yards out just slipping past the right post just before the whistle, and the Impact made their one good chance pay off, and held a 1-0 halftime lead.

Montreal was quite happy to pack it in for the second half, so the Timbers would have plenty of possession, though it took until the 57th minute to turn that possession into a good chance with a Steve Purdy header off a third straight Timbers corner kick that slipped just past the right post. Three minute later, a loose ball inside the box could not be sent towards goal as shots from Keita and then Brian Farber were blocked before they got to the Impact net.

In the 62nd minute, it was Farber with a good look at the top of the Impact box, but his shot was blocked by a charging Philippe Billy. Three minutes later, it was Keita getting a nice turn on a ball in the Impact box, but his shot was right at the Montreal keeper and easily saved.

In the 68th minute there would be a play that will be a talking point for Timbers fans for years, especially after feeling the Timbers had a win stolen in Montreal last month on a phantom PK late in the match. Off low cross, Keita headed towards goal, and it appeared the ball was stopped by an extended arm of Impact defender Hicham Aaboubou on the way to goal, but though center referee Fotis Bazakos had an excellent angle on the play, he waved play on.

In the 76th minute, the Timbers would come within inches of a tying goal when a cross from George Josten found Farber at the far post, and his header across the goal slipped inches past the far post and over the endline. Shortly afterwards, Farber had another good look, only 10 yards out to keeper's left, but blasted the shot over the crossbar.

The Timbers were now getting plenty of free kick chances as Montreal was fully packed in, and off a free kick, it was Quavas Kirk getting his head on the shot, but was over the bar from 10 yards out.

Then in the 81st minute, the Timbers would come even closer to the tying goal when James Marcelin got his head on a Ryan Pore free kick that had come through the Impact box untouched, but his tight angle header was off the underside of the crossbar and cleared from danger.

Montreal would get their first shot since the first half goal in the 89th minute when the Timbers had pressed players forward, and Filipe Soares blasted a shot from 20 yards well over the crossbar, then one minute later when Leonardo Di Lorenzo found Soares near the far Timbers post, but his weak shot only trickled to Steve Cronin and was easily saved, and was his only save of the night.

But despite dominating much of the match and a shot advantage of 17-5, the Timbers had to endure another dominating but disappointing performance in the 1-0 loss.

Both Portland's Steve Cronin and Montreal's Srdjan Djekanovic were credited with one save on the night.

(Click each pic to get a much larger picture)

Starting lineups

The Timbers Army before the match (with some in-camera special effects)

No caption needed for the metaphor here

Mandjou Keita marked by Tony Donatelli

Keita sheilded by Montreal defenders

Alex Nimo

Nimo is fouled by Stephen deRoux

OJ Obatola on the ground between deRoux and Leonardo Di Lorenzo

deRoux and Nimo fight for the ball

Johan Claesson attempts a shot just before halftime

Steve Purdy heads just wide right

Ryan Pore marks Philippe Billy

Keita heads towards goal

Brian Farber about to shoot from the top of the Impact box

Another Keita header..

..appeared to be stopped by the extended arm of Hicham Aaboubou, but there was no call

Takayuki Suzuki on the attack whie Josh Cameron overlaps

Farber's header..

..slips inches past the post

Farber's blast from close-in would be over the bar

James Marcelin's header..

..would hit off the underside of the crossbar

Srdjan Djekanovic's protecing the ball and milking the clock

Purdy asks the referees if they know who Thierry Henry is

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

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