The Rochester Raging Rhinos
came, saw and conquered
last night at PGE Park, throwing the 2004 Timbers season so far into some sort of perspective
Portland found that pushing into the rarefied heights
of the top few teams in the A-League is still going to be hard even with their new-improved 2004 version
coming off a 6 game winning start. The Timbers have now lost 3 out of their last 4
and looked like a team stunned by the Rhinos energy level
, organization and strength.
At the end of the game the Timbers looked tired
and with no help coming off Bobby Howe's bench (the inference must be that he was playing for extra time
, however for the tired team playing 7 minutes of injury time, de facto extra time had already started
In fact the Timbers hardly played last night before the 60th minute
when keeper Josh Saunders left the field on a stretcher after falling on his hip
(Saunders is being X-Rayed today and the initial prognosis is Josh could be out anywhere from a week to two months
The X-Ray turned up negative for a fracture
and josh will be able to go on the Timbers road-trip with the hip padded.]
But rewind to just after 7pm and it was almost all Rhinos
as the busy-bee like Carrieri
and the proud Woolfolk
took it to the Timbers defence.
And defending was what this game was all about
and the Timbers did a poor job
, not just in the back third, but all over the field
. Pressured by the Rhinos who worked hard everywhere, Portland were pressured into playing around
at the back, messing around
in midfield and losing the ball
The Timbers did have chances. Benedetti hooking over
from Alcaraz-Cuellar's ball into the box on 20' and Bengard's free kick on 23' seemingly slicing through the box (maybe getting a touch?) and coming off the post
on 23', but it was mostly Rochester capitalizing on errors
missed a volley from 8yds on 9' and Saunders saved point-blank
from Woolfolk a minute later.
The Rhinos took the lead on 38' when the Timbers lost the ball
on their right side, with the ball loose Heinzen tried and failed
to make the covering sliding tackle and Woolfolk was in. His cross was met by Carrieri, but Saunders could only parry
his shot into the path of Kirk Wilson
to make it 0-1 Rochester.
The half ended with Saunders having to make another save from Carrieri's 25yd shot
and the Timbers must have gone in at the half feeling lucky
to only be a single goal down.
The second half saw Henning replace the reportedly sick Wilkinson
and he added some steel and control
into the Timbers defence looking like a player who should be in the starting line-up
The Rhinos continued their attacking play however with Saunders having to save well from Carrieri
from 18yds on 46' and Woolfolk hitting the post
, but the Rhinos being called for offside.
On 51' Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar got a cross into the box, one of very few on the night, but it was too close
to Rochester keeper Zagar.
The Timbers did step up the pressure
in this period and on 52' Alan Gordon got in on goal, but his cross across the Rochester goal towards Alcaraz-Cuellar was cleared.
On 54' Wilson hit the Timbers post
after Carrieri's shot had hit Saunders, the Timbers keeper going down heavily on his hip
. Josh was down for about 5 minutes and was eventually stretchered off
to be replaced by Bayard Elfvin for his first game in a Timbers jersey.
All credit to Elfvin
and Timbers goalkeeping coach Jim Brazeau
. Sitting on the bench week after week, with little prospect
of getting into the first team must be hard, but Elfvin was superb
Immediately the Timbers woke up, 65 minutes too late.
65' Alcaraz-Gordon-Alvarez, but Byron couldn't turn
and get a shot off cleanly.
67' Benedetti to Sagare, finally getting to the goal-line, and his cross again left Alvarez with his back to goal
, but his shot on the turn was just over.
The Timbers and the crowd were energized
. 73' and Bengard's free kick aimed at the far post was met by Henning, but his header was wide
Then on 74' the Timbers were awarded a penalty
after Carlos Mendes was called for handball when Alcarez-Cuellar's ball into Byron Alvarez bobbled up
Bengard's penalty was spot-on perfect
into the left corner. Scores level at 1 - 1.
In the final minutes Benedetti's volley
was saved by Zagar, Sagare beat Demmin to get the ball into Gordon in the box, but the ball was again scrambled clear
Elfvin made 2 great saves late
, on 88' from sub Miller (on for Carrieri) and in injury time from a long range blast from Sedgewick.
With the 7 minutes of injury time running out and the Timbers tiring
it was again a defensive lapse
(wide on the Timbers left by Heinzen) that let Kirk Wilson draw Elfin out
and set up Miller for the last gasp winner
The Timbers now need to regroup
for next weeks midwest road-trip with back-to-back games
against Minnesota and Milwaukee.
O - Mistakes Prompt Threat from Coach
Democrat and Chronicle - Miller's Late Goal Lifts Rhinos to Victory