Timbers playoff-bound with 3-0 win over Richmond
PORTLAND, Ore. - The Portland Timbers secured a spot in the postseason with a 3-0 shutout win over the Richmond Kickers on goals from three different players before a crowd of 7,858 Saturday night at PGE Park.
The victory placed Portland (10-9-9, 39pts) into the fifth seed of the playoffs, ahead of Richmond (10-9-9, 39pts), setting up an all-Northwest playoff battle with the archrival Seattle Sounders.
The Timbers will begin the home-and-away, first-round playoff series with Seattle beginning Friday night at 7 p.m. (Pacific) at PGE Park.
The second game, on Sunday at 7 p.m. (Pacific), will be broadcast live from Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., on Fox Soccer Channel.
The Timbers got goals from Scot Thompson, Dan Antoniuk and Byron Alvarez, while Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar dished two assists. The two assists marked his league-leading 11th and 12th of the season, setting a new career high in the process.
Thompson put away the first goal 15 minutes before the half with a header that sailed beyond Kicker goalkeeper Ronnie Pascale and into the net following a free kick from 35 yards out by Edwin Miranda.
Antoniuk and Alvarez added insurance goals in the 84th and 88th, respectively, both on crosses from Alcaraz-Cuellar.
TIMBERS NOTES: Alcaraz-Cuellar was honored at halftime as the Timbers Supporters Player of the Year, voted on by Timbers fans … tickets for Friday’s playoff match will go on sale Sunday, Sept. 11, at 10 a.m.
SCORING SUMMARY: Thompson, 35’ (Miranda); Antoniuk, 84’ (Alcaraz-Cuellar); Alvarez, 88’ (Alcaraz-Cuellar).
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY: RIC Hare, YC (46’), O’Toole, YC (81’); POR Marcum, YC (38’), Lines, YC (84’).
LINEUPS: RICHMOND (10-9-9) Pascale GK, O’Toole D, Williams D, Williams D, Hare D, Nti M (Ssejjemba 68’), Gorres M, Worthen M, Pauls M (Mingo 74’), Delicate F (Bobo 68’), Cephas F; PORTLAND (10-9-9) Saunders GK, Lines D, Thompson D, Morrison D, Marcum D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Miranda M, Poltl M, Winters M, Alvarez F, Antoniuk F.