OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS|
Timbers, Whitecaps end regular season with 2-2 draw
Portland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Timbers end regular season in a draw
After 2-2 tie at Vancouver, teams will meet in playoffs
A Final Playoff Warmup, Portland And Vancouver Battle to a 2-2 Draw
Prost Amerika Soccer
Swansong for Timbers in Play-offs
Vancouver Whitecaps to square off with Portland Timbers in playoffs
Whitecaps tie Timbers 2-2 in final game at Swangard
OCTOBER 2, 2010|
Timbers and Whitecaps draw in season final, set up rematch in playoffs
The Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps concluded their rivalry at the second division level on Saturday, with each team set to move to Major League Soccer starting in 2010. The Whitecaps would take an early lead on a goal by Terry Dunfield, but Kalif Alhassan and Bright Dike scored early in the second half to give the Timbers a 2-1 lead, but the Whitecaps would salvage the draw with a goal by Cody Arnoux for the 2-2 draw in front of 5,435 at Burnaby's Swnagard Stadium. With the draw, the teams will match up again in the playoffs next week with the Timbers as the 4th seed and Whitecaps as the 5th.
This matchup was the 65th time the teams have played in all leagues, and the 39th time in second division regular season play. The Timbers struggled in Vancouver over the past 10 years, going 2-12-3 on the road, but took four points out of six in Vancouver this season, and were 4-0-2 in their last six regular season matches against the Whitecaps.
The first half would feature a lot of action, but few shots on net. In the 4th minute, it was Vancovuer's Davide Chiumiento with the first good chance, making a run to the top of the box, but his shot was just wide left. Four minutes later, it was Vancouver's Terry Dunfield getting a nice pass from Ridge Mobulu, but his shot was wide left. Dunfield had another good look six minutes later, but his shot was deflected wide right.
The Timbers had their first good scoring opportunity in the 16th minute on a free kick by Ryan Pore which deflected wide right off the Whitecaps wall, then two minutes later, Ibad Muhamadou slipped in behind the Whitecaps defense, but his shot was tipped wide left.
The Whitecaps would take the lead in the 27th minute when a corner kick was flicked on by Martin Nash, finding Dunfield near the Timbers far post, and the header was off the ground but found it's way through the Timbers defense, and the Whitecaps had a 1-0 lead. Both teams would tighten up their defense for the remainder of the half, with no decent scoring chances for either team, and the score would be 1-0 Whitecaps at the half.
It wouldn't take long for the Timbers to level the score in the second half, when halftime substitute Doug DeMartin made a run down the right side, with his cross being unable to be cleared by Vancouver's Greg Janicki, and Portland's Kalif Alhassan had an open chance and finished well to the bottom right corner past a diving Jay Nolly to level the score at 1-1. Ten minutes later, the Timbers would score again when Pore slipped a pass into the run of Bright Dike, who tapped the ball past a charging Nolly, then scored easily into the open net to put the Timbers up 2-1.
Two minutes later, Dike nearly widened the Timbers lead to two goals when he fought of a challenge from Janicki near the corner of the box, but his shot from 15 yards out was wide left. In the 64th minute, the Whitecaps nearly leveled the score when Nash's curling shot from 25 yards out looked destined to slip just inside the left post, but a diving save by Steve Cronin pushed the ball just past the post. Two minutes later, it was Dunfield with another opportunity for the Whitecaps, but his shot from the top of the box was right at Cronin.
In the 69th minute, the Whitecaps would level the score when Kyle Porter's cross would find Cody Arnoux near the far post, and his header would find the net to level the score at 2-2. In the 74th minute, an odd Timbers corner kick that floated well over the box would nearly result in a Timbers goal as Steve Purdy collected the cross, and centered the ball back to the top of the box, with the ball eventually ending up at the foot of Stephen Keel, whose shot from near the penalty spot was nicely saved by Nolly.
In the 86th minute, the Timbers had another great scoring chance when Dike once again broke through the Whitecaps defense, but his shot from 18 yards out was stopped by a fine kick save by Nolly. Shortly afterwards, the Whitecaps had a great chance to steal the win when a shot by Porter off a corner kick was just wide right.
In stoppage time, each team would have a good opportunity, with Vancouver's Nash hitting a long shot that appeared headed to possibly hit the left post before Cronin tipped it wide, then Portland's DeMartin making a run to the Whitecaps endline, getting a tight angle shot that went harmlessly through the goal mouth, but neither team could break the deadlock, and the least regular season game at this level for both teams would end in a 2-2 draw, setting up a playoff rematch for the following week.
Steve Cronin had four saves for the Timbers, while Jay Nolly had three for the Whitecaps.