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August 31, 2012
Timbers top Rapids 1-0

PORTLAND, Ore.—The Portland Timbers emerged from the Western Conference cellar with Friday night’s 1-0 win over the reeling Colorado Rapids at Jeld-Wen Field.

Bright Dike atoned for a 35th-minute miss by scoring the game-winner in the 45th minute. The point-blank shot past netminder Matt Pickens capped a scoring play that started with Diego Chara just inside midfield. Chara fed the ball to Darlington Nagbe on the right flank, and Nagbe fed it forward to Sal Zizzo, who took it deep before squaring the ball across the top of the six-yard box. Dike slammed the ball home in full stride for his second goal in three games.

The score could have been much more lopsided, had the Timbers’ finishing been better. In the 35th minute, Dike beat defender Marvell Wynne for an open eight-yard shot from the left side of the box, but sent the ball wide of the far post. In first-half stoppage time, Nagbe also missed wide from point-blank range.

Netminder Donovan Ricketts made four saves to post his first Portland shutout, despite being hampered for much of the second half by an apparent right arm injury. Two of those were on shots from Martin Rivero, a diving stop on a 17th-minute effort headed for the upper left corner, and a 65th-minute punch that kept Rivero’s 25-yard free kick out of the net. The Rapids had a couple of late chances to salvage a tie, but Omar Cummings missed with a close-in header, and Andre Akpan sent a shot just wide in stoppage time.
On the strength of their first two-game winning streak of the season, the Timbers leapfrog the Rapids into eighth place in the MLS West at 7-13-6 and 27 points. Colorado, with just one win in their last 11 games, fall to 8-17-2 (26).

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