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Thursday, September 27, 2001

Death By Chocolate: Timbers 0 - 2 Hershey

Well almost anyway! The Timbers will have to come back from a 2 goal deficit when they travel to Hershey this Saturday after conceding 2 goals in the last 20 minutes with a man advantage tonight at PGE Park.

After Steve Klein's cross across the face of goal, after getting to the goal-line, was hit over by Ze Roberto at the far post on 10' the Timbers were unable to capitalize on some good possession, passing the ball well in midfield, but with no penetration. In fact it was Hershey who almost got on the score sheet 5 minutes before half-time after forcing 3 corners in quick succession, Napoleon making the save of the game from Feniger's 20 yd shot. The teams went in at the half 0 - 0 and the Timbers must have been disappointed not to have turned the pressure into something concrete.
The second half started with shots by O'Neill (over) and Clarke (swinging in at Busch), but the pattern of the first continued with both teams defenses dealing with the final ball well and keeping chances down to a minimum. On 61' Greg Howes claimed a penalty after going down in the box under a challenge from Busch and another Hershey defender and then came the game's turning point. After Jeff Clarke went down, Chad Evans got involved in an incident that left Clarke holding his face. The referee seemed to initially award the yellow card, but after consultation with the linesman awarded the red. With the game becoming scrappier, the Timbers looking sloppy giving the ball away and Hershey imbued with that mystical yet paradoxical 10-man spirit, the Wildcats took the lead. Ze Roberto and recent substitute Doug Miller combined on 70' to find Doug Watson splitting the Timbers defense on a run from midfield and he put the ball past Napoleon's right hand and into the goal. 1 - 0 Wildcats. On 74' Darin Lewis replaced Matt Chulis, who had a good game at right-back, and with Hershey making a handful of changes themselves, the Timbers began to fall apart. Two of those substitutes combined on 84' to put the game beyond doubt. Mike Williams found Fred Degand who beat of the tackles of Sancho and then Wilkinson to beat Napoleon from just inside the box with a nice finish inside the right post. The Timbers were now tired and devoid of ideas and on 88' Roberto nearly made it 3 after Winters gave the ball away, but his shot was wide of the right post. The whistle went on a disappointing evening leaving the Timbers a mountain to climb to keep their playoff run alive.

The Timbers also picked up yellows for Wilkinson, Baena and O'Neill.

[full match report tomorrow]

posted by the timberlog at 10:12 PM



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