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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Playoff Bound: Portland 3 - 0 Richmond

The Portland Timbers made the USL Div 1 playoffs last night with an emotional 3-0 win over the Richmond Kickers.

Goals from Scot Thompson (a header from an Edwin Miranda free-kick), Dan Antoniuk (header from a Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar cross and Byron Alvarez (another header again from a Hugo cross) gave the Timbers the win in front of an announced crowd of 7,858.

The win gave Portland the 5th playoff spot and sets up a home and away playoff series against Seattle.

The first game of that series is at PGE Park on Fri Sept 16th and tickets are on sale now.

Tickets begin at $12 and can be purchased from Ticketmaster. Groups of 15 or more are encouraged to call the Timbers ticket office at (503) 553-5555 for discounted tickets.

The second leg will take place at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., on Sunday, Sept. 18, at 7 p.m.

The winner will play the top-seeded and defending champions Montreal in the semi-final.

A great match from the starters-pistol.

On 2' Tom Poltl (playing on the left side of midfield) tried to get a 1-2 going with Antoniuk, Richmond keeper Pascale getting to the ball first. At the other (MAC) end Joey Worthen cut inside and hit the post, the ball cleared for a corner. Then back to the shed end as Byron Alvarez scooped a header wide from Edwin Miranda's cross. All in the first 5 minutes.

On 9' Dan Antoniuk volleyed just wide from Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar's pull back and on 12' Richmond forward Delicate shot wide.

on 15' Lee Morrison's header was over the bar from Hugo's corner on the right and on 20' Josh Saunders had to save from Nti's 25 yd strike. Real end-to-end stuff. Miranda into Alvarez and his shot on the spinning turn was deflected away for a corner.

On 22' Garrett Marcum was put in down the right, but was called offside...he put the ball into the net for practice anyway.

Sloppy play by Morrison and Lines on 24' gave Richmond a deep throw on their right and from the resulting attack Nti shot wide wildly (Not the last time a Richmond player would shoot off-target tonight!)

Miranda's 30 yd drive was saved on 26' and on 29' after Lines slipped, O'Toole's cross was headed across goal by Cephas.

Real danger for the Timbers on 32' as Marcum committed himself allowing Worthen in, but he was ushered wide and the ball went away for a corner.

On 35', after a foul on Antoniuk, Scot Thompson sent a glancing header past Pascale from Miranda's free kick from 35 yds out on the left. 1-0 Portland!

Marcum's foul (and yellow) on Worthen on 38' gave the Kickers a good chance about 25 yds out on the left side of the box, but O'Toole's kick was over.

Saunders had to save from Worthen on 43' and as the half drew to a close Alvarez had one last pop at goal, running across the box, keeper Pascale saving.

1-0 Timbers at half-time.

The second half started with Hare getting a yellow for a push on Dizzy (he'd clattered into Josh Saunders just before half-time - good memory ref!)

Richmond came out fighting and the Timbers were reduced to getting bodies back early in the second half. Cephas shot over on 46' after Lines and Poltl took to long to clear and on 51' O'Toole to Cephas and his cross was headed back across goal by Delicate. A dangerous moment.

An unmarked Miranda almost got on the end of a Poltl cross on 54' and Byron headed over from Miranda's cross on 55'.

Great move on 57' as Edwin Miranda played a fantastic defence-splitting ball, but Alvarez hit the right post with his shot past Pascale!

Hare's header was across the face of Josh Saunders' goal on 58' and on 62' a nice snatch-and-grab by Marcum set up Alvarez to pull back to Alcaraz-Cuellar, but his shot was saved.

Richmond were now reduced to shooting from afar. Nti sliced wide on 68', Williams shot ending up on the corner flag a minute later and Worthen blasting high and wide from 25 yds on 70'

Miranda's (on target!) shot from 20yds after a nice head-down from Dizzy was saved on 72' and Byron Alvarez' shot was again saved after he got through a crowd of players in the box.

76' and Alvarez was offside receiving a ball from Poltl and the Timbers seemed to have regained their concentration and control of the game.

On 81' Byron-Dizzy-Miranda-Poltl free, but his shot was over when he was free and clear!

Then the killer blow. 84' and Byron found supporter's player of the season Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar and his cross was headed in by Antoniuk. 2-0 Timbers.

The celebrations could begin and there was more relief on 88' as again it was Hugo, this time stealing the ball on the right and crossing for Byron Alvarez to head past Pascale to make the final score:

Timbers 3 - 0 Kickers.

posted by the timberlog at 2:23 PM

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