The Silverbacks won on PK’s tonight to advance to the USL First Division Final. The Silverbacks (13-9-9) beat the Timbers (15-6-9) in PKs with a 3-1 final score after being tied 0-0 after overtime, in tonight’s USL First Division semi-final match at PGE Park in Portland.
Both teams, having just finishing a hard fought game on Friday night, came out tentative at first, with the hard surface making it difficult to play early on as the players adjusted to the Astro Turf. With a slow beginning to the game the Timbers rallied at home in front of their vocal crowd.
The first quality chance came in the 22nd minute with the Timbers’ Luke Kreamalmeyer slotting the ball to Bryan Jordan who then combined at the top of the box with Andrew Gregor to get a chance from the corner of the six. Jordan took a quick shot that hit the upper corner of the crossbar. Then, just minutes later, the Silverbacks defense had to clear a ball off the line. Ryan McIntosh came out to a cross, was challenged by a Timbers player and the ball fell to Cameron Knowles who took a quick-left footed shot. Omar Jarun was able to clear the ball off of the line with his head. Keeping the teams tied going into halftime.
Then, possibly the best chance in regulation for Portland, came early in the second half at the 61st minute with a flick to the back post from the Timbers. Jordan crashed the back post and McIntosh had to make a point blank save just off the line. With both teams making changes within the first 15 minutes of the half, Ukah/Antoniuk and Rivillo/Liendo for the Backs and Hague/Ambriz for the Timbers, the play continued back and forth throughout the half with either team unable to capitalize. In the final minutes of regulation, the Timbers had a free kick just outside the box where Gregor was able to bend the ball to the back post, missing just inches wide.
The best opportunity from the Silverbacks came in the 5th minute of the first overtime when Ukah settled a ball off his chest 20 yards out and was able to hit a great shot that dipped just below the crossbar. The Timbers’ goalkeeper, Josh Wick, make a great save to lay the ball over the top of the post. Just minutes later the Backs had another chance on goal off of a corner from Rios, Wick punched the ball out to the top of the 18 and Rivillo hit a quick one time shot just over the crossbar.
The Timbers came out early in the second overtime, just minutes in with a free kick that Lawrence Olum, who was just subbed in, was able to get his head on and flick on goal. McIntosh had to make a quick high save to get up and lay the ball over the crossbar. Then, just seconds later the Timbers hit one off the side post and McIntosh was able to turn around and save it before the Timbers were able to capitalize. Each team continued to battle throughout the second overtime, but were unable to get the winning goal.
The teams went to penalties with Rios missing the first shot for the Silverbacks and Gregory hitting the post for the Timbers, the teams were tied 0-0 after the first set of shooters. Next it was Rivillo, Kandji (Backs) and Griffin (Timbers) who all finished and the Silverbacks led 2-1. The next shooter for the Timbers, Kreamalmeyer missed wide and Ukak finished for the Backs, to give a 3-1 lead. The final shot was taken by the Timbers’ Olum, who had a shot to the side post that was saved by McIntosh give the win to the Silverbacks with a final score of 3-1.