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Saturday, September 22, 2001

Patient Timbers Triumph in Charlotte: Eagles 2 - 3 Timbers

The Timbers triumphed in Charlotte tonight as Michael O'Neill, Scott Benedetti and Greg Howes scored to ensure a quarterfinal place for the Timbers against the Hershey Wildcats. The Eagles dominated much of the game, but the patient Timbers weathered the storm and scored 2 goals late in the game as the Eagles pushed forward and brought on substitutes.

The Timbers, with Scott Benedetti, Jeff Clarke and Greg Howes back in the team and Neil Ryan keeping his central defender position, traveled to Charlotte looking to keep their 2 goal lead from the first leg and go into a quarterfinal tie with Hershey. Charlotte kept the same team except Coggins replaced Gomez.
After a back and forwards start to the game the first chance came to the Eagles on 10’ after an O’Neill foul gave Leib the free kick chance, his kick going just wide of the post and the diving Napoleon. Then on 15’ Dustin Swinehart got his 19th goal of the season with an assist from Jacob Coggins to put the Eagles up 1 – 0. The Eagles got another chance a minute later after Chulis’ challenge on Leib gave away the free kick at the edge of the Timbers box. Leib’s kick was high and with Charlotte looking the more urgent of the 2 teams the Timbers had to regain control. They did on 23’ after Benedetti’s cross was put away by Michael O’Neill to make the score 1 – 1 and restore the Timbers 2-goal advantage.
The Eagles won a free kick on 35’ after a Howes challenge (Parry receiving a yellow for dissent) and with the Eagles bringing on Joey Johnson for Coggins the free kick was set up. Parry’s kick found it’s way through to Johnson and with his first kick of the game he put the ball under Napoleon’s feet to make the score 2 – 1.
The Eagles really stepped up the pace now with Swinehart shooting just wide and Napoleon having to make the save and colliding with Norkus on 39’. They then forced 2 corners in quick succession with Napoleon again having to push away a Charlotte shot. With the Timbers looking a bit stronger in the final few minutes of the half, the whistle blew and the teams went in with the Eagles leading 2 – 1 (Timbers leading 3 – 2 aggregate score)

The Eagles came out in the second half on the attack again. Joey Johnson shot across the face of the goal on 47’ and with the Timbers not able to hold and control the ball the Timber’s aggregate lead looked precarious. For the next period of the game both sides were limited to long distance strikes (Howes for Portland and Garjardo for Charlotte) and the Eagles brought on Jeff Johnson for Norkus on 63’. Joey Johnson’s free kick on 67’ was headed wide by Swinehart and Keith Costigan picked up a yellow (time wasting?) on 68’. The Timbers won their first corner of the game on 69’ and the Eagles replaced Correa with Ben Johnson. Then with 10 minutes to go the Eagles crumbled and the Timbers hit twice to seal the game. Scott Benedetti took a quick free-kick from the edge of the box on 82’ past Adams’ right hand to make the score 2 – 2!! Benny! Benny! Benny! Greg Howes picked up a yellow on 84’ (time wasting?) and then less than a minute later scored, after turning on a Winters (radio) or Wilkinson (USL) shot, to make the score 3 – 2 to the Timbers! Howsey! Howsey! Howsey! After 4 minutes of injury time the final whistle went with the Timbers winning 3 – 2 (5 – 2 on aggregate)

posted by the timberlog at 5:44 PM



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