Seattle Sounders FC (12-13-2, 38pts) improved it’s playoff chances with a gritty 2-1 win over the Cascadia Cup and I-5 rivals Portland Timbers(11-9-7, 40pts) Sunday afternoon in front of 64,358 fans at Century Link Field. Seattle is now tied with San Jose for the sixth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Sounders however have played one more game than the Earthquakes. The loss dropped Portland to fifth place in the Western Conference playoff race.
As can be expected, the game between the longtime foes was an intense, topsy turvey affair that had more storylines than a Ernest Hemingway novel. Both teams had good early looks at each others goal. Portland had two good shots within the first five minutes of the game but was unable to capitalize and the missed opportunities came back to haunt them one minute later when Obefmi Martins gave Seattle the 1-0 with six minutes played.
The goal seemed to have ticked off the visitors as Portland took over possession of the ball and dominated the amount of shots taken. From the 10th minute to the 42nd minute mark, it was basically a shooting gallery for the Timbers as Lucas Melano , Fernado Adi, Diego Valeri and Liam Ridgwell all took turns taking shots on the Seattle goal but the tries came up wanting.
The inability to score came back to hunt the Timbers once again just before the half time break when Portland keeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey conceded a penalty when he collided with Obefami Martins in the box. Brad Evans converted the spot kick and Seattle went into the halftime break with a 2-0 lead.
Portland continued it’s dominance of play after the restart and fortune finally rewarded the visitors in the 58th minute when Jack Jewsbury tapped in a Diego Valeri corner kick to cut the deficit to one goal for the visitors. Portland continued to dominate the run of play but as had been the case all afternoon, they were unable to finish when it counted most .
” Today was hard work it was not a beauty, the first goal was a great effort put in by Valdez and others scrapping out the ball and Oba jumped on it and scored, the second gaol we thought we could get behind them, Obama makes a a hard run sacrifices himself and draws a penalty outside of that there play was better than ours but we came away with the win,” Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid said after the game.
The Sounders next MLS match will be Saturday September 5th when they host Toronto FC.
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