Timbers put in solid performance, but give up two goals late in 3-1 loss to Whitecaps

August 10, 2001
at Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, British Columbia

13' - Vancouver: Jason Jordan (Darren Tilley)
29' - Portland:Greg Howes (Keith Costigan)
69' - Vancouver: Dave Morris (Jason Jordan)
89' - Vancouver: Steve Kindel (Jason Jordan)

The Portland Timbers seemed to have put a 4-0 blowout behind them when they went into the last 20 minutes in Vancouver tied at 1-1, but the Timbers couldn't hold the game close as they gave up two late goals in a 3-1 loss to the Vancouver Whitecaps in front of 6,118 fans at Swangard Stadium in Vancouver. Jason Jordan, Dave Morris, and Steve Kindel all scored for the Whitecaps, with Jordan assisting on the other two goals. Greg Howes had the lone goal for the Timbers.

Kevin Holness fronting Greg Howes

The Timbers came out in a 3-5-2 formation, with Jeff Clarke, Keith Costigan, and Jose Burciaca, all listed as defenders, starting in midfield. Darren Sawatzky and Greg Howes were the forwards, with Mark Baena not leaving the bench for the entire night. The Whitecaps had the first good scoring chance of the night in the 11th minute when Darren Tilley made a run down the left side, but the angle was too tight, and his shot went into the left side netting. But just two minutes later, the Whitecaps broke through when Tilley played a long crossing ball into the run of Jason Jordan, who had broken free when Timbers defender Scott Benedetti slipped. Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon came out to cut off the angle, but Tilley tapped the ball nicely to the left and past Napoleon, then tapped into an open net for a 1-0 Vancouver lead.

The SouthSiders

In the 22nd minute, the Whitecaps seemed poised to double the lead when a Jordan pass had Steve Kindel with a brief one-on-one with Napoleon, but the Timbers keeper blocked a point-blank shot, and the Whitecaps were not able to put the rebound on net, and the ball was cleared. In the 29th minute, the Timbers leveled the score when Costigan played a crossing pass from 30 yards out that curved away from Whitecaps goalkeeper Didar Sandhu. The Whitecaps keeper was unable to get to the ball, and Greg Howes headed the ball back towards the far post, without alot of pace, but there were no Whitecaps in position to keep it out of the net, and the Timbers had evened the score at 1-1.

The tying goal seemed to put a spark in the Timbers attack, and they would dominate play for much of the remainder of the first half. In the 32nd minute, a good series of passes had Costigan open briefly from 25 yards out, but his attempt to aim the ball for the top corner was deflected just wide right. Just one minute later, the Timbers had a free kick from just outside the box, and Michael O'Neill placed a low, quick pass into the center of the box that Sawatzky attempted to redirect into the net, but his deflection had taken too much off the pace of the ball, and it rolled harmlessly to Sandhu.

Michael O'Neill brings the ball into the box, marked by Steve Kindel and Chris Franks

In the 38th minute, Brian Winters found himself in the box after a diagonal pass had given him a good chance to shoot, but a retreating defender deflected the shot over the endline. In the 42nd minute, Vancouver defender Geordie Lyall was injured when he and Timbers midfielder Burciaga had gone up for a header, and Lyall came down awkwardly as the two players collided. Despite having played perhaps their best half offensively against the Whitecaps this season, the Timbers had been unable to convert their good play into a lead, and the match was even 1-1 at halftime.

Early in the 2nd half, the Timbers threatened again when Sawatzky's shot from 20 yards went just high. In the next 10 or 15 minutes of play, the Whitecaps regained control of the match by pulling back from their longball strategy, and trying to build up their attack more from midfield. The Timbers responded by building a few good attacks themselves, mostly by moving the ball through the middle, but even though both teams had chances when they had good control inside 30 yards, both teams had dropped an extra defender, not wanting to give up a goal at this point, and neither team was able to put their attempted shots on net.

Chris Franks and Jeff Clarke go for the header

The Whitecaps began to move a few more players forward, and nearly took the lead in the 61st minute when Kindel's shot from 25 yards went just barely wide right. In the 65th minute, the Timbers had their best chance to take the lead when a Sawatzky pass to Howes had him open from 22 yards, but his hard shot was saved well by Sandhu, who recorded his only official save of the night.

The momentum had been swinging back towards the Whitecaps during the second half, and it finally paid off in the 69th minute, off two rebounds that went right where the Whitecaps needed them to go. Jordan cut across the top of the box looking for a shot, and his first shot was going to be a weak one, and a Timbers defender got his foot on it to block it, but the rebound fell right to Jordan's feet, and he hit a second, harder shot that Napoleon saved, but did not control. Vancouver forward Dave Morris had gone down to the grass, and was just getting up as the ball came right to him. He quickly propped himself up and got his foot on the ball, nicely chipping it over Napoleon and into the net, giving the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead.

Jose Burciaga Jr. chased by Rick Titusl

All momentum seemed to come out of the Timbers, and even a late substitution of Darin Lewis was not enough to put any serious attack on Sandhu, or on the Whitecaps defense, which shifted back to protect the lead. The Timbers shifted Benedetti into a midfielder position, and were playing a 2-5-3 as they attempted to find the equalizer. Morris got behind the defense for a breakaway in the 86th minute, but his shot went just wide right. In the 89th minute though, the two-defender formation allowed another breakaway, this time on a pass from Jordan to Kindel, that Kindel buried with a blistering shot from 15 yards, that gave the Whitecaps the additional bonus point in the 3-1 win over the Timbers.

Darren Sawatzky heads a Michael O'Neill corner
Shots: Timbers 9, Whitecaps 15
Saves: Timbers 4, Whitecaps 1
Fouls: Timbers 18, Whitecaps 18
Offsides: Timbers 0, Whitecaps 3
Corners: Timbers 6, Whitecaps 5

Canadian national team player Jeff Clarke

Portland: Matt Napoleon, Gavin Wilkinson, Scott Benedetti, Matt Chulis, Brian Winters, Michael O'Neill, Keith Costigan, Jose Burciaga Jr (Darin Lewis 76'), Jeff Clarke, Darren Sawatzky, Greg Howes
Vancouver: Didar Sandhu, Chris Franks, Steve McCauley, Geordie Lyall (Dave Morris 42'), Jeff Skinner, Rick Titus, Oliver Heald, Steve Kindel, Kevin Holness, Darren Tilley (Alfredo Valente 69'), Jason Jordan
Matt Napoleon makes a point-blank save

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