Timbers fall to AFC Ajax

PORTLAND — Lorenzo Ebecilio scored early and AFC Ajax went on to a 2-0 victory over the Portland Timbers in an international exhibition on Wednesday.

It was a rare home loss for the Timbers, who are in the midst of their inaugural Major League Soccer season. Portland has lost just twice at home, both non-league matches, while winning all five of its home MLS games.

Earlier this month, Ajax won its 30th Dutch league title and secured a spot in next season's Champions League.

Ebecilio scored on a cross from Gregory van der Wiel in the 18th minute. Demy De Zeeuw added the other goal in the 89th minute.

Maarten Stekelenburg, goalkeeper for the Netherlands in last year's World Cup final, was with the team but did not play. Ajax started Jeroen Verhoeven in goal.

The Timbers also rested goalkeeper Troy Perkins, giving Adin Brown the start.

Brown was caught off-guard with Ebecelio's left-footed goal into the upper right corner, and at times the Timbers seemed out of sorts against their Dutch counterparts.

Brown got lucky in the 56th minute when Daley Blind's hard kick sailed over his outstretched arms but hit the crossbar and popped up and out.

Portland had a chance in the 58th minute off a corner kick, but Eddie Johnson's attempt from a few yards out also caught the crossbar.

Ajax defeated D.C. United 2-1 in a friendly on Sunday.

The team's travel roster included Stekelenburg, defender van der Wiel, who also played for the Netherlands in the World Cup, and midfielder Siem De Jong, who had 12 goals this past season.

Ajax coach Frank de Boer, who won five league titles with the club and another with Barcelona in 1999, has only been coaching Ajax since December last year when he took over from Martin Jol.

Portland did not play captain Jack Jewsbury, who has two goals and five assists in league play this season, and the team substituted liberally in the second half.

The Timbers' other loss at Jeld-Wen Field came in a U.S. Open Cup play-in match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

The announced crowd for the friendly was 18,627.

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