OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS
Timbers down Puerto Rico on late goal by Pore
Portland Timbers top Puerto Rico 1-0, leave PGE Park with a bang
Postgame Fix - Sunflower Goal
SEPTEMBER 2, 2010|
Timbers end an era with sunflowers and a 1-0 win
It was a night for the ages at PGE Park. It would be a momentous match for many reasons: The last home regular season match for the current USSF Division-2 Pro League Timbers, as well as the last match before the stadium renovations for the Major League Soccer Timbers that will start play there next year. It was also undoubtedly the last time many of these players will play in front of the Timbers fans, and they gave quite a sendoff as a shower of sunflowers from the north end starting in the 80th minute will quickly become legend as Ryan Pore would score the lone goal of the match shortly afterwards for a 1-0 win over the Puerto Rico Islanders. But to the 15,418 in attendance, the fifth sellout of the season, it will go down as an example of what makes the beautiful game in Portland so special.
It was obvious from pretty early on that Puerto Rico was playing a defensive and physical match, and would be more than happy to leave with a draw. So the chances for either team would be few and far between. The first good chance would be for the Timbers in the 5th minute, when a pass was dropped back to a charging James Marcelin, whose blast from 25 yards out was right at Puerto Rico keeper Bill Gaudette.
One minute later, the Islanders would threaten on a corner kick when the ball floated dangerously close to the crossbar before Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin tipped the ball wide, and a rebound header by the Islanders was wide left.
In the 18th minute, the Islanders had another good look when Nick Addlery had an open look from 30 yards out, but his long blast was well wide right. Three minutes later, the Timbers had a good look of their own when Ryan Pore made a run down the left side, finding Johan Claesson as he cut across to the corner of the Islanders box, but his shot was well over the crossbar.
Late in the half the Timbers had a few golden opportunities go begging. First in the 45th minute, Pore had a nice shot from the top of the box blocked, and Claesson’s attempt at a rebound was smothered by Gaudette. Then in stoppage time, Pore played a nice pass to Keith Savage has he made it into the Islanders box, but his shot would be blocked by a diving save by Gaudette, who also reacted well to block wide a rebound shot by Claesson. The half would end with the teams tied at 0-0.
The only Islander who recorded any shots on the night was Addlery, who had four. One of his shots would be in the 49th minute, when his low shot from near the top of the box was smothered by Cronin. In the 60th minute it would be Portland’s Ibad Muhamadu with an open look, but his blast from 30 yards out was wide left.
Possibly the best chance Puerto Rico had to take a lead was in the 75th minute when Addlery made a nice run down the left side, cutting across the top of the Timbers box, but his shot was blocked by the Timbers defense and cleared. On the ensuing counterattack, Claesson fought off several hard tackles to move the ball through the middle of the pitch, and played a nice pass ahead to Pore who made a run to the top of the box to the keeper’s right, but his blast was tipped just wide and high.
Despite the lack of goals to this point, the feeling in the stadium was that the Timbers pressure was going to pay off, and shortly after sunflowers suddenly grew spontaneously from the north end of the stadium in the 80th minute, along with the serenade of “You are my sunshine”, that goal would finally come when after Ian Joy played a pass to Doug DeMartin in the corner, and the Timbers forward would escape and cut across into the box and played a cross into the center of the box that found the head of a charging Pore, who drilled the diving shot right into the middle of the net, with Gaudette having no chance on the hard shot, and the Timbers Army erupted into celebration with the 1-0 83rd minute lead.
Despite a few dangerous crosses into the Timbers box late in the match, the Timbers had little trouble protecting the lead, and after three minutes of stoppage time, would end this era of the Timbers at PGE Park with an historic 1-0 win on the Pore goal.
With the win, the Timbers close out their time at PGE Park with two straight shutouts, four shutouts in their last six games there, and a seven game unbeaten home streak. In addition, in the last four games there, the Timbers drew over 73,000 fans for their last five home matches combined.
After the match, the Timbers would celebrate in front of the Timbers Army, with the players getting sunflowers, a Timbers Army USL farewell tour shirt, and a sunshine-filled banner with their number and name, which was displayed during the pregame. Celebratory photos from the evening at PGE Park can be found here.
Steve Cronin had one save in the win, while Bill Gaudette had four saves for the Islanders.