Timbers tally late to earn 2-2 draw in Puerto Rico
May 16, 2008
BAYAMON, PR – A late goal by forward Chris Brown helped Portland Timbers overcome a two-goal deficit to earn a 2-2 draw against the Puerto Rico Islanders at Juan Ramon Loubriel Stadium on Friday night. Timbers midfielder Lawrence Olum scored his first goal of the season in the first half to keep the game within reach.
With the come-from-behind draw, the Timbers (3-0-3, 12pts) remain unbeaten this season and maintain their first-place position in the USL First Division. Goalkeeper Ray Burse recorded seven of his season-high nine saves in the second half to help the Timbers fight their way back into the game.
Down 2-1 entering the final minutes of play, Timbers second-half sub Bryan Little set up the equalizer with a long cross from deep in the left corner. On the back post, Brown headed in his third goal of the season into the top right corner of the frame in the 83rd minute for the 2-2 draw. With the assist, Little earned his first point as a member of the Timbers.
Sparked by Little, Portland applied pressure on the Islanders defense in the second half taking four of its five shots on the night in the second period.
The Islanders (1-3-1, 4pts) snapped the Timbers’ two-game shutout streak with goals in the 21st and 25th minutes to take an early lead. In the 21st minute, Islanders midfielder Sandi Gbandi recorded his first goal of the season by heading in a deep cross from the left side by forward Kendall Jagdeosingh inside the far post for the 1-0 lead.
Four minutes later, Puerto Rico gained a two-goal advantage on a strike by defender John Krause. The Islanders played a short corner in the 25th minute to midfielder Peter Villegas who delivered a pinpoint cross to Krause who was able to head in his first goal of the season at the back post.
But the Timbers pulled one back in the 27th minute on a goal by Olum. Midfielder Miguel Guante calmly settled the ball at the top left corner of the penalty area and sent a pass across the box to Olum about 13 yards out along the right side. Olum bounced a header inside the back post past diving Islanders goalkeeper Bill Guadette to cut the lead down to one.
Both teams nearly took the lead late in the game. As the clock wound down, Timbers midfielder Andrew Gregor curled a 30-yard free kick just wide of the right post. Then in stoppage time, Burse deflected a low shot by the Islanders to his right off the far post and out of play to keep the score line locked at 2-2.
The Timbers face the Miami FC Blues on Sunday to wrap up a two-game trip to the Southeast; kickoff is set for 3 p.m. (Pacific). A live broadcast of the match is available at www.portlandtimbers.com, with a live video webcast available through USL Live at www.usllive.com.
Portland returns home for a pair of matches starting May 24 against the Vancouver Whitecaps at PGE Park.
Notes: The Timbers improve their all-time record in Puerto Rico to 0-3-1 … Guante was credited with his first assist of the season on Olum’s goal in the 27th minute … Friday marked the first time this season the Timbers allowed two goals in a match … Portland’s defense had allowed just one goal this season entering its match against Puerto Rico.
POR: GK Burse, D S. Thompson, D J. Thompson, D Griffin (Little, 45), D Knowles, M Gregor, M Higgins, M Guante, M Olum (Bagley, 75), F Brown (Poltl, 88), F Suzuki (Karalexis, 89)
PR: GK Guadette, D Jones (Ortiz, 57), D Henry, D Krause, D Arrieta, M Villegas (Elcock, 62), M Steele (Hanson, 84), M Gbandi, M Miranda, F Fabrice (Ojeda, 76), F Jagdeosingh (A. Delgado, 87)
PR: Gbandi (Jagdeosingh), 21
PR: Krause (Villegas), 25
POR: Olum (Guante), 27
POR: Brown (Little), 83