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Thursday, April 14, 2005

Galaxy Edge Out Timbers 1-0

A fitter, quicker and stronger LA Galaxy side edged out the Portland Timbers by a single goal at PGE Park last night. It was a pretty even game throughout the night, drifting into stalemate at times, but it was Landon Donovan who helped break the deadlock when on 38' he threaded a ball from the edge of the box to Herculez Gomez and the LA forward slipped the ball past Josh Saunders for the only goal of the night.

The Galaxy definitely had the most chances, forcing Timbers keeper Josh Saunders into a number of good saves. On 7' Paulo Nagamura's 25yd shot sent Saunders diving to push the ball past his left hand post.

The Galaxy attacked on both wings well, Naldo da Conceicao and Paul Broome on the left and Michael Umana and Herculez Gomez on the right, but on the whole the Timbers defense dealt with them well.

Gavin Wilkinson suffered an injury to the head in the first 10 minutes and the Timbers put together some nice flowing moves early trying to get trialist Joe Beytebiere in on goal.

Danger on 15' as Wilkinson foul on Donovan set up a free kick 25yds out. With Shaun Saunders getting a yellow for a push in the wall, Donovan touched off for Guillermo Ramirez to blast just wide left.

A free kick at the other end, after a foul on Scot Thompson coming forward, led to Beytebiere almost getting a head on Alcaraz-Cuellar's kick, LA keeper Cronin getting there first.

A great play on 21' with Thompson breaking up a Galaxy attack and playing a through-ball to Beytebiere who was called offside.

On 23' it was Thompson again covering as Donovan, with a great outside of the foot pass, almost got Ned Grabavoy in on goal.

Saunders had to tip over on 27' after Umana shot from 20yds and with Gavin Wilkinson now with a bandaged head the Timbers defense seemed to wobble. On 33' after a LA corner the ball wasn't cleared and Gomez' cross back into the Timbers box found Umana up from the back line and unmarked in the 6yd box. Luckily his ball across goal was cleared, but it was a dangerous moment for Portland.

The rain started about now and continued for most of the game and with LA gaining the upper hand Gomez latched onto Donovan's deft pass to slip the ball into the Timbers net. 1-0 LA.

The Timbers made changes in the second half (Harrington for Afash, Higgins for Beytebiere, Henning, Winters and Heinzen on for Wilkinson, Poltl and Benedetti) and a few times almost got in behind the Galaxy defense. Heinzen in particular almost got in on a Miranda through ball on 59' but couldn't bring the ball under control.

Grabavoy's deflected shot almost sneaked in on 62' and with the rain stopping the Timbers were on the receiving end of some really tight offside decisions trying to run from deep. Harrington was particularly unlucky on 65', but the LA keeper would have probably got there first.

As the announced crowd of 4,227 watched Timber Jim fail to complete his trademark backflip 4 times in a row, that probably summed up the Timbers evening as they couldn't get any consistent attack going and the score remained Galaxy 1 - 0 Timbers.

Notes: Scot Thompson was again in fine form all night (as expected) and Miranda and Beytebiere in particular had a good game.

Was it my imagination or has Brian Winters "bulked up" a bit since last season??!!

posted by the timberlog at 8:52 AM

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