Mariners topple Timbers

Saturday's date with the defending national champion Portland U23 Timbers didn't seem like a promising occasion for the Magnuson Ford Mariners as they searched for their first win of the season.

Danfi Parker of the Abbotsford Mariners battles for the ball with a Portland Timbers opponent.

Danfi Parker of the Abbotsford Mariners battles for the ball with a Portland Timbers opponent.

Saturday’s date with the defending national champion Portland U23 Timbers didn’t seem like a promising occasion for the Magnuson Ford Mariners as they searched for their first win of the season.

But the local Premier Development League soccer side scored a major upset, blanking the Timbers 1-0 at Bateman Park.

Mariners coach Ian Knight was quick to note it wasn’t a dominant performance by any means – the local side found itself under intense pressure for much of the match. But Andrew Kowan posted the clean sheet, and the backline of Colton O’Neill, James Farenhorst, Brent Wantke and Cody Strelau performed admirably under duress.

Sasa Plavsic got the decisive goal in the early going, when his low drive found the bottom corner.

“It wasn’t pretty at times, but there’s nothing wrong with an ugly win,” Knight noted with a chuckle, after his team improved to 1-3-2 on the season. “In all honesty, it wasn’t some of our best play this season. For long periods, we were under a lot of pressure. But we got the goal that made the difference on the day.”

The Mariners’ next three games are on the road. They’re back at Bateman Park on Wednesday, June 29 for a 7 p.m. date with the Washington Crossfire.