OFFICIAL MATCH STATISTICS
Stars fight off short-handed Timbers to claim 1-0 win
Stars survive Timbers' onslaught for 1-0 win
imbers lose to Minnesota 1-0 in another poor performance, prompting talk of a "different direction"
JUNE 17, 2010
Timbers can't overcome early goal, fall 1-0 to Minnesota
After another flat first half that saw the Timbers go down early, a second-half red card and penalty kick save put a spark under the shorthanded Timbers, but they could never quite get the equalizer and fall 1-0 to the NSC Minnesota Stars in front of 8,877 at PGE Park. Ely Allen got the lone goal for the Stars.
The visitors would control much of the early possession, and nearly scored an early goal when Ely Allen was left open 15 yards out from the left post, but his strike was wide left.
The Timbers would have their first good chance in the 6th minute, when a Rodrigo Lopez free kick found the head of a diving Stephen Keel, but his shot hit off the left post (a common occurrence this season) and went out over the end line.
In the 18th minute, Melvin Tarley had a good look for the Stars, when he turned at the top of the box, but his shot was just high and wide left. But two minutes later, the Stars would take the lead when Chris Clements found Allen with a long pass, and scored on a tight angle past a charging Steve Cronin and into the net to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.
In the 27th minute, the visitors were threatening again when Kentaro Takada had an open look from 25 yard out, but his low blast slipped just past the right post. Seven minutes later, a goal kick from Minnesota goalkeeper Joe Warren nearly resulted in a second Minnesota goal when it bounced through to Brian Cvilikas, who had slipped in behind the Timbers defense, and shot wide left when he probably had more time to shoot than he realized.
Six minutes from the end of the half, the Timbers nearly snuck a goal in when off an Ian Joy cross, a header by Takayuki Suzuki was looping back towards the far post, requiring Warren to tip the ball over the bar at the last second. Just before end of the half, Portland's Ryan Pore made a nice run into the right side of the Minnesota box, but his blast from 15 yards out at a tight angle was over the bar, and the half would end with the Stars holding a 1-0 lead.
Early in the second half, the teams exchanged long range shots that didn't threaten either goalkeeper, but the match would change dramatically in the 52nd minute, though not as expected.
Timbers midfielder James Marcelin was ejected for an elbow when challenging on a throw-in, reducing the Timbers to 10 men, and giving the Stars a penalty kick as the foul took place in the box. Tarley stepped up to take the kick for the Stars, but Cronin was up to the task and saved the initial kick, then snaring the rebound before Tarley could knock into the rebound, and almost immediately, the Timbers had the lift they needed.
Just after the saved penalty kick, it was Pore finding Scot Thompson with a nice flick pass, but Thompson's shot was right at Warren. One minute later, Alex Nimo had a good look from 25 yards out, forcing a diving save by Warren on the dipping shot.
With the Timbers shorthanded and pushing players forward, Minnesota would get their share of chances, and in the 59th minute, Daniel Wasson had a good look from 25 yards, but his shot was easily saved by Cronin.
In the 63rd minute, the Timbers would have perhaps their best chance to equalize when second half substitute Bright Dike slipped through the center of the Stars defense, and had a breakaway chance, but his shot from 12 yards out was blocked by Warren as he charged off his line, and the Timbers could not put a follow-up chance on net.
In the 70th minute, the Timbers had a free kick just outside the Minnesota box, but Pore's initial shot was off the wall, and a follow up shot by Tony McManus was just high and wide left. Three minutes later, the Stars had their best chance since the missed penalty to add a second goal when Tarley had an open run down the right side into the Timbers box, but his shot from 20 was snared by a diving save by Cronin to keep the Timbers within a goal.
In the 74th minute, the Timbers appeared ready to tie the score when a shot by Nimo from 25 yards out curled towards the top left corner of the Stars goal, and was only kept out by a full-stretch save by Warren, who tipped the ball just past the left post. It would be the last great scoring chance for the Timbers as the Stars packed in their defense to hold onto the lead, and though the Timbers produced some late chances on free kicks and corners, none seriously threatened the Minnesota goal and they would hold on for the 1-0 win.
Steve Cronin had four saves, while Joe Warren had five saves for the Stars in the winning effort.