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Friday, September 09, 2005

Everything's All-Right: Portland 6 - 1 Atlanta

What could have turned out a nightmare both on and off the pitch ended up being yet another amazing night at PGE Park as (almost) everyone came out winners.

The Timbers made another step towards the playoffs with a 6-1 win (eliminating both Atlanta and Minnesota in the process) and now only Puerto Rico can catch them. A win on Saturday against Richmond at PGE Park and Portland are assured of a place, anything but a win in Puerto Rico tonight for the Islanders and the Timbers are in regardless.

The denizens of 107 made their point and then some, section 107 being left almost deserted until the 75th minute, but still making themselves heard in groups all around the field (quite effective that!)

The only "losers" on the night were PGE Park security and police to whom the phrase "headless chickens" could be applied as it became clear that their particular duty on this night was unenforceable and mostly unneeded.

The game started in an unsure manner (both on and off the pitch...OK I'll stop using that phrase now!) with Millwood for Atlanta showing his worrying speed down the left and Edwin Miranda having the first shot (over from 25yds) on 7'

Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar's free kick on 8' was around the Silverbacks wall but straight into keeper Barton's arms.

Dan Antoniuk tried to spin away from DeLima on 12' (a move that would profit him later) only to see Alex Yi cover.

On 15' Antoniuk (who really seemed to come of age in this game) stole the ball deep, played a 1-2 with Conway, but volleyed wide from the return.

The Timbers began to ratchet the screws with Morrison volleying wide on 17' and Antoniuk getting his head on Miranda's cross with Barton out of position, the Silverbacks clearing the danger.

Danger at the Timbers end on 24', but del la Torre's ball to Dawkins found him offside.

A nice overlapping move on 29' as Antoniuk put Alcaraz-Cuellar in for the cross and a minute later Dizzy headed just too high from Miranda's cross.

All Timbers pressure now with Hugo's high overhead lob pushed behind by Barton, Goldthwaite's cross across the face of goal and Lines' shot saved after a nice chest down by Conway on 38'

Then the goal. Thompson's ball down the center, a great turn and Antoniuk blasted past Barton. Clinical. And just in time for the playoffs.

Miranda's shot from 20 yds was saved by a diving Barton on 44' and then just before half time Paul Conway, attempting to roll around a defender, shot into the side netting, but fell on his right elbow. Paul walked gingerly from the field and was later taken away in an ambulance with a dislocated elbow.

With Byron Alvarez replacing Conway the second half started and would see a further 5 goals from the Timbers.

On 50' Antoniuk tried a 30 yd lob over Barton and on 51' a breakaway saw Byron Alvarez' shot slide under Barton and cross the line just before Millwood could clear. 2 - 0 Portland.

The Silverbacks got a goal back on 57' when Pineda-Chacon was left alone and finished Rios' cross from the right. Edwin Miranda picked up a yellow in the resulting melee as Atlanta tried to retrieve the ball for a quick restart.

With fast Atlanta sub Stone causing problems, Josh Saunders had to make a save from Millwood on 63' and at the other end Barton saved Miranda's chance from about 10yds.

On 72' it was 3-1 as Dan Antoniuk put away a rebound as Byron Alvarez' shot was blocked by Barton (or was it a pass with the outside of his foot...couldn't really tell. The goal was credited as UA anyway).

Number 4 on 77' as Miranda followed up his own blocked shot to beat Barton.

A red card for Atlanta's Stone on 83' as it looked like Scot Thompson would be running from deep midfield right into the box to score before he was pulled down just outside the box. (Byron's free-kick was too high).

Obviously the Timbers confidence was sky high (with even Brain Winters trying a little fancy back-heel!!!) and on 88' Edwin Miranda scored again with his shot from 20yds looking like it was deflected past Barton.

Antoniuk finished the night in fine style, grabbing his hat-trick on 90', striking Byron Alvarez' cross through a crowd of players for his 12th of the season and to make the final score 6 - 1.

I won't mention the cannon, but let's just say, the memory is etched in my brain 'till my dying day.

posted by the timberlog at 11:20 AM

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