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Montero’s goal lifts Whitecaps past Timbers

(Image: Twitter/@WhitecapsFC)

Fredy Montero continued to haunt the Portland Timbers, scoring the game’s lone goal as the host Vancouver Whitecaps held on for a 1-0 victory Friday night.

Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau made five saves to record his third shutout of the season for the Whitecaps (3-5-3, 12 points), who moved past the Timbers (3-6-1, 10 points) and into seventh place in the Western Conference standings.

The Whitecaps have lost just once in their past six matches (3-1-2). The Timbers, who are playing their first 12 games on the road while their home stadium, Providence Park, is being renovated, had a three-match winning streak snapped.

Montero, a 31-year-old Colombian, spent his first four MLS seasons with the Seattle Sounders (2009-12), where he became accustomed to Cascadia Cup clashes with Portland and Vancouver. He scored 13 goals for the Whitecaps in 2017 before returning to them this season after a year with Sporting CP in Lisbon, Portugal.

His goal in the ninth minute Friday, his team-leading third of the season, was the sixth of his career against the Timbers.

The goal came off what seemed an innocent play. The Whitecaps passed the ball back and forth along their defensive line in their own half of the field before Erik Godoy launched a long pass from the midfield stripe toward Montero at the top of the 18-yard box.

The ball was deflected by a Portland defender and fell straight to Vancouver’s Russell Teibert, who made a one-touch pass back to Montero to spring the forward free. Montero dribbled into the penalty area and unleashed a 15-yard, left-footed shot into the top left corner of the net beyond the reach of Timbers goalie Steve Clark.

Crepeau made strong saves on back-to-back Timbers corner kicks in the 25th minute, first producing a diving stop off a Larrys Mabiala header and then scrambling to knock a Bill Tuiloma header toward the top right corner off the crossbar.

Crepeau also came up big with a save on a 10-yard shot by Diego Valeri in the 72nd minute.

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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