March 10, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - Portland Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. - Forward Ryan Johnson scored his first goal of the season in the 80th minute, but the Portland Timbers attempt at a second-half comeback for a second straight match fell just short in a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Impact before 20,674 fans at a sold-out JELD-WEN Field on Saturday night.
Saturday's attendance marked the 36th consecutive sellout at JELD-WEN Field since the Timbers joined MLS in 2011.
Trailing at halftime, the Timbers assembled a second-half performance that saw them out-shoot Montreal 11-4 and maintain nearly 65 percent of the possession, which helped them claw back into the match. Portland was able to pull one back late on Johnson's strike, one of the club's nine shots over the final 30 minutes of the match. But Montreal was able to make a 60th-minute goal by midfielder Felipe stand as the game-winner to capture a second straight road win.
Felipe and defender Hassoun Camara each scored their first goals of the season, midfielder Andrés Romero recorded his first MLS assist and goalkeeper Troy Perkins earned his second win of the season to help lead the Impact (2-0-0, 6pts).
Midfielder Ben Zemanski logged an assist in his club debut, midfielder Diego Valeri attempted a team-high six shots and goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts secured four saves for the Timbers (0-1-1, 1pt). The loss ended Portland's overall seven-match home unbeaten run, dating back to last season.
Johnson's goal in the 80th minute initiated Portland's final push for the comeback. Zemanski, from the right side, sent in a long cross that fell perfectly onto the path of Johnson on a run at the back post. With a sliding effort, Johnson knocked the ball into the back of the net.
The Timbers had three shots in second-half stoppage time, two of which were put on frame. Just before the final whistle, forward Jose Valencia settled a pass inside the box and fired a low shot that went right at the feet of Perkins for the save.
Portland held Montreal to just four shots in the second half, and the Impact went almost 30 minutes during the match without attempting a shot. Ricketts made key plays in the early going to help keep Montreal at bay, including a save in the 11th minute on a bouncing, pointblank header by forward Marco Di Vaio.
The Impact claimed the lead just past the half hour mark. A free kick, played by midfielder Andrea Pisanu from the right side, was played back in front of goal to Camara in the right side of the box. His side-winding shot from 15 yards skipped inside the left post for his second-career MLS goal and a 1-0 lead.
Montreal doubled its lead in the 60th minute. Moments after entering the match as a substitute, Romero chased down a ball played deep in the right corner. He played a cross in at the near post, where Felipe was making a run between Portland defenders, and Felipe one-timed his shot inside the near post.
The Timbers face their first road match of the 2013 season on Saturday, March 16, playing rival Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.; kickoff is set for 5 p.m. (Pacific). The first Cascadia Cup match of the season will be broadcast nationally on NBC Sports Network, with local radio broadcasts available on 750 The Game and in Spanish on La Pantera 940AM.
* The Timbers attempted 19 shots on Saturday against the Impact, and combined with the 21 shots in the season opener, Portland equaled its MLS high of 40 combined shots over any two-game period. The only other time the Timbers recorded 40 or more shots over a two-game stretch was July 28-Aug. 5, 2012 (19 against Chivas USA, 21 against FC Dallas). * The Timbers attempted 566 passes on Saturday night, more than 100 more passes than any of the nine other MLS clubs in action on Saturday. Sporting Kansas City was second during the day with 457 passes. * The Timbers also had more crosses in open play (24) than any other MLS team in action on Saturday. Sporting Kansas City was second with 21. * After two matches, Portland leads MLS in shot attempts (40) and shots on goal (16). The club also leads the league in corner kicks (12). * For a second straight match, the Timbers maintained over 62 percent of the possession against their opponent (62.9 percent against Montreal; 62.8 percent against New York). * The Timbers fielded the same Starting XI on Saturday against Montreal as they did March 3 against New York, marking just the ninth time in the club's MLS history that it has fielded the same Starting XI in consecutive matches. The Timbers' MLS mark for consecutive games with the same Starting XI is four, set April 30-May 21, 2011. * The Timbers and Impact met for the first time as MLS clubs at JELD-WEN Field. With Saturday's loss, the Timbers are 0-2-0 in the all-time MLS series against the Impact. The history between the two sides dates back to 2001 when both clubs competed in the second division. * The Timbers played their 70th match as an MLS club on Saturday. * Midfielder Kalif Alhassan made his 50th appearance as a member of the MLS Timbers on Saturday, becoming the just the sixth player in the club's MLS history to reach the 50-appearance mark. * Midfielder Diego Chara surpassed 5,000 minutes played for the Timbers on Saturday, becoming just the second player in the club's MLS history to reach the milestone. * Midfielder Diego Valeri attempted six shots against Montreal, just one shy of the Timbers' MLS mark for shot attempts in a single match. . * Through two matches, Valeri leads MLS in shots (12) and is tied for the lead in corner kicks (11). * Midfielder Ben Zemanski made his Timbers debut Saturday, entering the match as a halftime sub. He also recorded his first assist as a member of the Timbers. * Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made his 105th MLS regular-season start Saturday. * Earlier in the day, Ricketts and forward Ryan Johnson were called up by the Jamaica National Team for upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers on March 22 and 25.