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Timbers see lead slip in 1-1 draw with AC St. Louis

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AC St. Louis notch a point in Portland

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AC St. Louis 1, Portland 1: Timbers throw away advantage, settle for a draw

Dropping Timber
Timbers Forced to Settle for a Point after Late Goal



MAY 15, 2010
Timbers can't put away overmatched St. Louis team and late goal costs them victory in 1-1 draw
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In what may be one of the most shocking and inexplicable results in years, the Portland Timbers would absolutely dominate a clearly outmatched AC St. Louis squad for almost the entire night, but would make unfinished chances come back to haunt them. Mandjou Keita would get his first goal of the season, but a stoppage time defensive lapse allowed AC St. Louis to equalize on a goal by Mike Ambersley on one of their very rare threats, and as a result, the Timbers drop two points in a 1-1 draw in front of 10,057 at PGE Park.

The Timbers would get their first good look eight minutes into the match when OJ Obatola had a chance on a header, but hit it wide right. Eight minutes later it would be Mamadou Danso with the chance on a header, this time from a Ryan Pore free kick, but his header was just over the crossbar.

In the 21st minute, after a flurry at the top of the St. Louis box, Pore had a good look from the top of the box, but his shot was deflected wide by hitting his own forward, Mandjou Keita.

Then in the 27th minute, a Timbers goal seemed a near certainty when Johan Claessen crossed to Pore who had an open look from only a few yards out, but put his shot just past the right post with most of the net appearing to be open in front of him. Seven minutes later, Portlandís Alex Nimo had an open look on a rebound shot from near the corner of the box, but his dipping shot was smothered by St. Louis goalkeeper Alec Dufty.

In the 42nd minute, it was Claesson making a nice run towards the St. Louis goal, dropping a nice pass to Keita, who turned and fired but it was right at Dufty and easily saved. Just before stoppage time, a nice heel pass from Pore had Ian Joy with a good look from only about 8 yards out, but the shot was stopped by a reaction save by Dufty, and despite a 10-1 advantage in shots, the Timbers had not managed to find the net, and the match was level 0-0 at the half.

Despite continuing to maintain the majority of possession, it would take until the 57th minute when the Timbers would get their first good chance of the half, when Obatola made a nice run down the right side, fighting off a hard defensive challenge to get a cross to Nimo, whose shot was weak, but shortly afterward, Quavas Kirk played the ball through the box, probably a bad shot rather than a pass, but it was right to Pore who was wide open 8 yards out from an open net, but the shot was stopped by a kick save by Dufty.

The first serious scoring chance St. Louis would have on the night would be in the 63rd minute, when a long free kick by Tim Velton was fumbled in the box by Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin, but the Timbers were able to clear the ball and end the threat.

After so many chances without a goal, extending well into the last match against Crystal Palace Baltimore, the Timbers would finally make all those chances pay off with a goal in the 66th minute, when Pore intercepted the ball deep in the St. Louis end, and passed to Keita, who turned on the ball at the top of the box, and blasted a low shot past Dufty, and the Timbers had finally taken a 1-0 lead.

Four minutes later, the Timbers nearly doubled their lead when a bad backpass by a St. Louis defender was intercepted by Pore, but Dufty was able to come off his line and clear the ball just before Pore could shoot.

In the 75th minute, AC St. Louis would have a rare good scoring chance when they had a free kick 25 yards out from the Timbers goal, but the free kick by Gauchinho was well over the crossbar.

The Timbers would have a strong claim to a penalty in the 79th minute when it appeared St. Louis defender Dillon Barna appeared hit Joy in the back of the head with his elbow then landed on his ankle in the box, but play was waved on. In the 86th minute, the Timbers had another great chance for an insurance goal when Pore one-timed a weak St. Louis clearance, but his hard dipping shot from 25 yards out was saved nicely by Dufty.

After being completely dominated for almost the full 90 minutes, St. Louis started to get some possession forward starting in the last few minutes, and in the 90th minute, only a nice sliding block by Danso kept a nice shot by Manuel Kante from testing Cronin.

Then in stoppage time, in what was really the only goal scoring threat on the night for the visitors, a cross from the right side by Ryan Moore was shot towards the Timbers net by Velton, but blocked by his own player Mike Ambersley, but it turned into a perfect pass and Ambersley turned and fired it past Cronin, and with their only good look at goal on the whole night, AC St. Louis had leveled the game at 1-1. Ambersley made a sawing motion in front of the Timbers Army to celebrate the goal.

The match would end shortly afterwards, and a dominating 90 minutes was nullified by a single chance in stoppage time, and a 1-1 final.

Steve Cronin had no recorded saves on the night for the Timbers while Alec Dufty had five for AC St. Louis.

PHOTO GALLERY
(Click each pic to get a much larger picture)

Starting lineups

Timbers Army in pregame

Ian Joy marked by Mike Ambersley

Mandjou Keita marked by Mark Bloom

Johan Claesson on the attack

Ryan Pore marked by Ambersley

Pore's attempt from close-in goes wide right

Alex Titton and Mamadou Danso chasing

Mandjou Keita with the header

Bloom and Pore clash

OJ Obatola

James Marcelin

Ian Joy's shot would be saved by St. Louis goalkeeper Alex Dufty

Dufty looking upfield

Pore's shot would be saved by a kick save by the St. Louis keeper

Keita shoots and scores his first goal of the season

The Timbers celebrate the goal

As do the Timbers Army

A Guachinho free kick goes well over the crossbar

This hard challenge by Dillon Barna on Joy was judged as no foul

Pore goes high to control the ball

Over 10,000 at PGE Park

Gavin Wilkinson faces the press after the disappointing result

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

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