Eric Brunner scores to put the Timbers up 1-0 in the first half

The Portland Timbers came into their game on Sunday afternoon looking to end a scoring draught, and they would do so, finding two goals that they needed,  one from Timbers defender Eric Brunner and a second half own goal by Chicago’s Logan Pause which were enough for a 2-1 win in front of 20,438 at Portland’s JELD-WEN Field.

It would be the home side with the first good chance, in the 4th minute, when a long throw from the sideline by Mike Chabala was met by a header by Kris Boyd, and was only kept out by a nice save by Chicago keeper Sean Johnson, who just managed to tip the ball wide.  In the 9th minute, it was the Timbers threatening again, with Rodney Wallace making a nice run to the corner of the Fire box, with his low shot once again being tipped wide by Johnson.

The Fire wouldn’t get their first good look at goal until the 14th minute, when the Fire ran a few nice give-and-gos to give Marco Poppa an open look, but his shot was right at Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins and easily saved.  A few minutes later the Fire had a great chance with Dominic Orudo wide open inside the Timbers box and a pass from his right coming right to his feet, but he would badly mis-hit the shot, and appeared to injure himself slightly in the process.

In the 19th minute, the Timbers would take the early lead when off a Franck Songo’o corner kick, Hanyer Mosquera did well to head the ball back across the goal, where Boyd attempted a bicycle kick but only managed to deflect it to Eric Brunner, but the Timbers defender did well to get his foot on it and drive it high into the net, and the Timbers would have the 1-0 lead.

A minute later the Timbers nearly doubled the score when Darlington Nagbe slipped in behind the Fire defense, though Johnson was able to tip the shot over the crossbar.  In the 31st minute, the Fire appeared to have a dangerous through ball to Patrick Nyarko, but Perkins came out of his box and got to the ball just ahead of the Fire midfielder.

In the 36th minute, the Fire looked ready to level the score when after the Timbers couldn’t clear a Chicago corner kick, the ball was passed into the box to Pavel Pardo, who turned and fired but the ball was tipped wide by a diving save by Perkins.  About a minute later the Timbers nearly doubled the lead when Wallace made a nice run to the endline and crossed to Boyd, but his one-timer was blocked at the last second Fire defender Dan Gargan.

In the 39th minute, after a poor clearance attempt by the Timbers defense, and Pappa found Jalil Anibaba open, and the Fire defender fired low and into the far side of the net, and the Fire had leveled the score at 1-1, which would be the score at the break.

In the 52nd minute, off their eighth corner kick of the night, the Timbers would benefit from a bit of luck when on the Sal Sizzo corner kick, Boyd headed towards net, but it was knocked into the net off the knee of Fire defender Logan Pause, and the second own goal to benefit the Timbers in less than a month would give the Timbers a 2-1 lead.

In the 62nd minute, the Fire would nearly equalize when after a poor clearance of a Chicago corner kick, Gonzalo Segares had a good shot deflected wide by Diego Chara.  Wallace would have a good look for the Timbers in the 70th minute, but his curling shot from the top of the box was just wide left.  Two minutes later, the Timbers nearly caught Chicago’s Johnson out of his goal when he went out of the box to clear, but Chara was unable to get anywhere near the goal with his attempt from 40 yards out.

Chicagowould get one last good chance in the 85th minute when a deflected shot nearly found Federico Puppo in the Timbers box, but Brunner was able to clear the ball and end the threat, and it would be the last good chance for either team, and the Timbers would hold on for the 2-1 win.

http://www.portlandtimbers.com/news/2012/05/recap-timbers-seize-opportunties-win-over-fire