Timbers top Whitecaps to spoil BC Place opener

Timbers top Whitecaps to spoil BC Place opener

MLS- Vancouver Whitecaps

Timbers top Whitecaps to spoil BC Place opener

TimbersWin (Getty)

By DAVID GUBALA

The inaugural Major League Soccer game at the newly renovated BC Place wasn't necessarily a one to remember for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Portland Timbers managed to spoil Vancouver's stadium opening with a 1-0 upset thanks to a cracker of a goal from Kenny Cooper on Sunday afternoon.

The victory moved the Timbers into a tie for the 10th and final MLS playoff spot with the New York Red Bulls, who currently hold the tie-breaker on Portland for the spot.

A giveaway ball from Vancouver's Alain Rochat in the 25th minute gifted the TImbers' game-winning goal. Diego Chara intercepted the pass and put his counter-attacking speed to good use. Chara then crossed the ball to a wide-open Kenny Cooper who took a touch and volleyed it beautifully over Joe Cannon.

Kenny Cooper tallied his seventh goal of 2011, earning the Timbers only their second road win of the season.

Vancouver had a great opportunity to get on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute when Pete Vegenas headed a crossed ball back to set up a streaking Shea Salinas for a shot. Salinas failed to capitalize on the opportunity and shot his effort wide of the post.

The Whitecaps' most notable chance, however, came in the 34th minute. Eric Hassli flicked a nifty backheel back to Davide Chumiento just outside the box, but his low-driven effort unfortunately hit the side netting.

The second half proved to be a pretty back and forth one for both sides, however the score stood still for the remainder of the game.

It was a memorable night for the 21,000 fans in attendance, particularly for the traveling Timbers supporters.

The Timbers (11-13-7) host the Houston Dynamo at JELD-WEN Field on Oct. 14. It's a comfortable position the Timbers find themselves in as they just miss out on earning the 10th spot based on their goal differential stat.

The Vancouver Whitecaps (4-16-10) are already mathematically out of earning a playoff spot, however they host Real Salt Lake on Thursday at BC Place.

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