Manchester City tops Timbers 3-0 at Merlo Field
PORTLAND, Ore. – Forward Emmanuel Adebayor scored a first-half goal and midfielder Adam Johnson recorded two assists as England’s Manchester City defeated the Portland Timbers 3-0 in an international exhibition match at Merlo Field before a sold-out crowd of 5,018 on Saturday.
One of the top clubs in the English Premier League, Manchester City visited Portland as part of a preseason tour of the United States. The friendly on Saturday wrapped up a week-long training camp in Portland before Manchester City heads to New York for the second leg of its tour.
The Timbers matched Manchester City shot-for-shot for most of the first half, until the English side found two quick goals in the late stages of the period. Each set up by Johnson, midfielder Stephen Ireland and Adebayor found the back of the net a minute apart to give Manchester City a 2-0 lead at halftime. Striker Jo put the finishing touch on the night, scoring in the 68th minute to put Manchester City on top 3-0.
Adebayor attempted a team-high three shots, forward Craig Bellamy provided two scoring chances in the first half and goalkeepers Joe Hart and Stuart Taylor collected a combined six saves to help Manchester City open its preseason slate in the United States with a victory.
Midfielder Derek Gaudet and forward George Josten each attempted a pair of shots for the Timbers, who edged Manchester City 14-13 in shots on the night. Forwards Doug DeMartin and Mandjou Keita sparked Portland’s offense in the late going, combining for four shots in the second half.
The Timbers came out of the gates quickly as Gaudet and Josten looked to put shots on target in the first 10 minutes of the contest. As the first half unfolded, Manchester City had a handful of near chances, including a blast from the top of the box by Bellamy, before Ireland broke the deadlock in the 43rd minute.
Johnson, a member of England’s provisional roster for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, set up the go-ahead goal from the left side. He sent a ball into the box that hit off Ireland and took a wide deflection towards the goal. The ball bounced by Portland goalkeeper Steve Cronin and inside the left post for the lead.
A minute later, Adebayor gave the visiting side a two-goal advantage with a well-placed shot just under the crossbar. It was Johnson again who set up the goal-scoring play, feeding Adebayor in position to strike. The Togo National Team member arched a shot just beyond the reach of Cronin and it fell between the goalkeeper and the crossbar and over the goal line to extend Manchester City's lead 2-0.
In the 68th minute, Manchester City capped its scoring on the night as Jo took advantage of time and space in the box. A short clearance by the Timbers backline fell to the feet of Jo. He penetrated the area and then, from the right side, struck a low shot uncontested into the back of the net inside the near post.
Behind the efforts of DeMartin and Keita, the Timbers had chances late to pull one back. DeMartin put an open look from the right side just wide and high of the mark in the 80th minute, and Portland created a small flurry of activity five minutes from time as Keita had a pair of shots from the doorstep blocked inside the box.
In the first half, midfielder Alex Nimo set up Gaudet for a chance to take and early lead. Down the right touch line, Nimo slipped a cross in for Gaudet on the near side. His shot aimed at the near post was turned away by Hart with a leaping effort across his goal line in the 6th minute.
Josten nearly found the back of the net in the 8th minute, getting on the end of a cross from forward Bright Dike. Josten’s header from 10 yards out curled just wide of the far post.
Portland returns to league play on Thursday, July 22, on the road against the Vancouver Whitecaps at Swangard Stadium. The away contest against their Northwest rival begins a stretch of four consecutive road matches for the Timbers.
POR: GK Cronin, D Purdy, D Smith, D Danso, D Joy, M Gaudet, M McManus, M Nimo, M Pore, F Josten, F Dike
MCFC: GK Hart, D Boyata, D Mee, D Cunningham, D Trippier, M Ireland, M Zabaleta, M Johnson, A., M Vieira, F Adebayor, F Bellamy
MCFC: Ireland (Johnson, A.), 43
MCFC: Adebayor (Johnson, A). 44
MCFC: Jo, 68
Timbers Player Ratings (as submitted by members of the Portland media; scale of 1-10)
GK - Steve Cronin – 6.5, D – Ian Joy - 7, D – Ross Smith - 7, D - Steve Purdy - 7, D - Mamadou Danso - 7, M - Derek Gaudet – 7.5, M - Tony McManus - 7, M – Alex Nimo – 7.5, M – Ryan Pore – 5.5, F - George Josten - 7, F – Bright Dike – 7
GK – Matt Pyzdrowski – 7, D – Josh Cameron – 7.5, D – Quavas Kirk – 7, M – Rodrigo Lopez – 7.5, F – Mandjou Keita – 6.5, D – Stephen Keel – 6.5, M – James Mercelin – 7, D – Scot Thompson – 7, F – Doug DeMartin – 7, M – Keith Savage – 6.5, F – Takayuki Suzuki – 7