OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS
Timbers open 2010 season with win over Rochester
Rhinos Fall to Timbers on Late PK
Timbers send 15,418 fans home happy
APRIL 17, 2010
15,416 see Rhinos hand Timbers a 1-0 win
In a match that at times looked a lot like a 2-1 win against these same Rhinos last year, the Timbers would dominate in the second half after a flat, physical first half, and would miss several chances at open nets before a late handball would rescue the Timbers, as Ryan Pore converted easily in a 1-0 season opening win in front of a sold out crowd of 15,418 at PGE Park. The attendance would be the second largest regular season crowd since the Timbers were reborn in 2001.
The first half would feature few shots, and few quality chances, as Rochester brought a very physical game, though there were few fouls, as referee Josh Wilkins seemed happy to let the teams play the rough style.
Early on both teams got some deep crosses, mostly attacking down the right side, but none resulted in a shot on goal. In the 14th minute, a long goal kick by Portlandís Steve Cronin nearly earned him an assist when Doug DeMartin nearly got to the ball after one bounce, but Rhinos goalkeeper Scott Vallow was just barely able to snag the ball first.
One minute later, DeMartin made a nice run into the box to the goalkeeperís left, but with OJ Obatola charging into the center of the box first, DeMartin chose to shoot and put the chance wide left. Obatola would have a good chance himself in the 22nd minute as he made a run into the box to the keeperís right, but his shot was blocked from close range.
Rochesterís Andrew Hoxie had two good chances during the next 10 minutes, but both were easy saves by Cronin. Portlandís Ryan Pore had a good look from the top of the Rhinos box after a long run, but his shot was a yard past the left post, though Vallow appeared to have it covered. Hoxie had one more attempt at the Timbers goal before the half, though like the others, it was right at Cronin, and at the half, the match was goalless.
The second half was more wide open attacking soccer than the first, with Pore getting an early shot for the Timbers though it was easily saved by Vallow, then shortly afterwards, Johan Claesson chipped the ball into Poreís run, but his blast from the top of the box was well over the bar.
The Timbers started earning more corner kicks in the second half after getting only one in the first half, and in the 53rd minute, Mamadou Danso rose well to get his head to a corner, but slipped it a few yards over the crossbar from 8 yards out. Three minutes later, the Rhinos nearly took advantage of a counterattack, but after a few deep crosses, they only managed a shot right at Cronin, who once again saved easily.
In the 58th minute, many Timbers fans expected a penalty kick call when Pore flicked the ball over Rhinos defender Tyler Jamaal Bellamy appearing to use his knee to knock Pore down, but the center referee waved play on. Four minutes later, a Timbers clearance was deflected right to Rochesterís Anthony Hamilton, but as with most Rhinos shots on the night, was an easy save for Cronin.
One minute later, Pore had Portland on the attack again as he made a deep run down the right side, with his cross finding second half substitute George Josten in the box, but his shot in full stride was a yard over the crossbar. In the 69th minute, the Timbers would come within inches of taking the lead when Poreís first shot from the top of the Rhinos box was blocked, but he pounced on the rebound and had a good chance for a follow up shot, but his low shot would ring off the left post.
Starting at about the 80th minute, the action in the Rhinos box really heated up as the Timbers pressed for the go-ahead goal. In the 83rd minute, Pore made another deep run down the right side into the Rhinos box, and his low cross had Vallow down and teammate Alex Nimo charging to the far post with an apparent open goal in front of him. But Nimo could not put the shot on net, putting it into the left side netting instead.
One minute later, a mistake by the Rhinos keeper nearly gifted the Timbers a goal when Vallow fumbled the ball out of the box when attempting to throw it, and charged out to challenge Nimo, whose shot appeared to be saved by Vallow with his hands ouside the box, but there was no call. The ball rebounded to Brian Farber, whose follow-up shot was deflected high by a defender as Vallow was recovering, and the Timbers had failed to capitalize on an open net for the second time in only a minute.
But on the ensuing corner kick by Pore, the ball was inexplicably played by the extended hand of Rochester's Hoxie, and the center referee pointed to the spot as just like last year, a bizarre play in the Timbers box had given the Timbers a chance at a late winner. And just like last year, Pore slotted the penalty kick easily to keeperís right, and the Timbers had the late 1-0 lead.
The Timbers had a few more chances but kept the Rhinos away from their goal and secured the 1-0 season opening win. Steve Cronin had seven saves in the shutout win.