Vancouver Whitecaps beat Portland Timbers 2-1 in first leg - Canadian Press

BURNABY, B.C. — Vancouver got goals from Charles Gbeke and Marcus Haber as the Whitecaps defeated the Portland Timbers 2-1 in the first leg of their United Soccer Leagues First Division semifinal Thursday. Gbeke headed home his 14th goal of the year and first of the playoffs on 25 minutes. Takashi Hirano beat Portland's Brian Farber down the left flank before curling in a fine cross to Gbeke in the Timbers box. The Canadian international's header struck the ground before beating Timbers goalkeeper Steve Cronin for a 1-0 Whitecaps lead. Portland tied the score in the 44th minute after Whitecaps defender Lyle Martin handled the ball in the area. Ryan Pore buried the penalty spot to tie the game 1-1 heading to halftime. In the second half, Vancouver retook the lead 2-1 on a goal by Haber with help of Gbeke. The second leg of the semifinal goes Sunday in Portland. Copyright © 2009 The Canadian Press. All rights reserved.