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Jul 4, 2013

Futty Danso seals Timbers victory

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Mamadou "Futty" Danso scored the lone goal on a penalty kick and the Portland Timbers defeated Monarcas Morelia 1-0 in an international friendly on Wednesday night.

Danso's penalty kick came in the 40th minute. A short time later, Morelia midfielder Aldo Leao Ramirez was sent off for arguing a call with an official, leaving the team down a player. Goalkeeper Federico Vilar, the Monarcas captain, also tried to appeal to the official and was yellow carded.

Monarcas Morelia had one of its best chances to equalize on forward Santigo Trellez's breakaway in the 74th minute, but the shot sailed just wide.

Morelia, which plays in Mexico's first-division Liga MX, is a two-time runner up for the CONCACAF Champions Cup, and played twice in the SuperLiga competition between MLS and Mexican teams. They won it in 2010, the event's final season.

Monarcas played many of its starters, including veteran forward Hector Mancilla, the two-time Liga MX golden boot winner. Mancilla had the team's lone goal in a 2-1 exhibition loss to Brazilian side Cruzeiro last week in Bridgeview, Ill.

Monarcas coach Carlos Bustos wasn't pleased with how the game was refereed.

"I'm going out with a bad taste in my mouth," he said through an interpreter.

In contrast, the Timbers rested many of their starters. Some, including top scorers Will Johnson and Rodney Wallace, have been called up by their national teams for CONCACAF Gold Cup competition. Portland also has an MLS match this Sunday in Columbus.

Portland coach Caleb Porter said the Timbers had three goals going into the match. They wanted to give guys experience, stay healthy and give fans a good show.

"I think if you look at those goals, it was mission accomplished," Porter said.

Portland has gone undefeated in 15 straight Major League Soccer matches, and it has not allowed a league opponent a goal at Jeld-Wen Field since March 9 against the Montreal Impact.

Danso, a defender who was named captain of the match, joked that he took the penalty kick away from midfielder Michael Nanchoff: "He wasn't happy about it."

The match was part of Portland's Copa Verde effort to bring Mexican first-division teams to Jeld-Wen to reach out to the local Hispanic community. Red- and yellow-clad fans of Morelia filled the west side of Jeld-Wen and drowned out Mexico's national anthem with their drums and trumpets.

"We kind of felt like it was an away game a little bit," Danso said of the boisterous Morelia fans.

In 2008, before the Timbers joined MLS, Morelia defeated Portland 2-0 in a friendly at Jeld-Wen.

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