Timbers top AC St. Louis 1-0 on the road
PORTLAND, Ore. – Forward Bright Dike scored his fourth goal of the season and goalkeeper Steve Cronin turned in six saves as the Portland Timbers shut out AC St. Louis 1-0 at Anheuser-Bush Soccer Park on Saturday night.
The Timbers controlled the pace of the first half and Dike put the Timbers on top in 41st minute with a shot from the top of the box. AC St. Louis assembled some close chances in the second half, but Cronin recorded all six of his saves in the period to help the Timbers leave St. Louis with the victory and end a four-game winless stretch.
Dike scored his third goal in four games, midfielder Keith Savage earned his first assist of the season, Cronin turned in his eighth shutout on the campaign and forward Ibad Muhamadu took a team-high five shots to lead the Timbers (8-7-7, 31pts).
With the win, coupled with a loss by the NSC Minnesota Stars, Portland moves into sole possession of third place in the USL Conference and fourth overall in the USSF Division-2 Pro League table.
Goalkeeper Alec Dufty logged five saves and midfielder Chris Salvaggione had two chances at an equalizer in the second half for AC St. Louis (5-11-6, 21pts). The loss ended AC St. Louis’ four-game unbeaten streak.
Dike found the back of the net in his second consecutive game, giving Portland a 1-0 lead just before halftime. Muhamadu started the play and laid a pass off for Savage 30 yards out from goal. Savage snuck the ball into Dike at the top of the box. Creating space with a quick move to his left, Dike then drilled a rolling shot past Dufty and inside the left post.
Led by the efforts of Muhamadu, the Timbers out-shot AC St. Louis 10-3in the first half. The Timbers’ newcomer forced Dufty into action throughout the stanza, starting with a shot in the 23rd minute. Muhamadu’s shot from a tough angle on the left side was misplayed by Dufty, but he slowed the ball down enough in order to recover and keep it from crossing the goal line.
In the 31st minute, Dufty forced a shot by Muhamadu wide into the side netting and two minutes later, the Dutch striker hit a shot off the goal frame. Midfielder James Marcelin set up Muhamadu for another chance in the first half, but his rolling shot missed wide of the right post in the 37th minute.
AC St. Louis attempted seven of its 10 shots on the night in the second half and Cronin was put to work early, stopping two shots along the right post in the opening minutes of the second half. In the 57th minute, Cronin came off his line to stop a cross through the box targeted for AC St. Louis forward Brad Stisser on the left side.
In the later stages of the second half, Salvaggione had two opportunities to pull AC St. Louis even. In the 62nd minute, a cross from the left side found Salvaggione inside the box, and he pulled the trigger on a bouncing shot from 13 yards out; Cronin was in place to collect the ball.
In the 81st minute, former Timbers midfielder Luke Kreamalmeyer sent in a cross for Salvaggione at the top of the six. Slightly ahead of the pass, Salvaggione was able to get a boot to the ball and redirect it on frame. Cronin made the stop with a diving save to his left to keep the Timbers one-goal advantage intact.
Portland held its lead through five minutes of second-half stoppage time to pick up its third road victory of the 2010 campaign. The club heads back on to road for its next match on Aug. 21 against the Stars at the National Sports Complex; kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. (Pacific).
Portland held its lead through five minutes of second-half stoppage time to pick up its third road victory of the 2010 campaign. The club heads back out on the road for its next match on Aug. 21 against the Stars at the National Sports Complex; kickoff is slated for 5 p.m. (Pacific).
POR: GK Cronin, D Cameron, D Danso, D Smith, D Purdy (Kirk, 45), M Nimo (Lopez, 62), M Savage (McManus, 64), M Marcelin, M Pore, F Dike (Claesson, 87), F Muhamadu (Suzuki, 70)
STL: GK Dufty, D Traynor, D Lesko (Gil, 76), D Bauer, D Bloom, M Kreamalmeyer, M Cosgriff (Moore, 79), M Velten (O’Garro, 67), M Salvaggione, F Kafedzic (Stisser, 45), F Ambersley
POR: Dike (Savage), 41