Portland Timbers 2 : 1 Sounders FC
Portland took all three points in a pulsating game at Jeld Wen Field. Goals from Kris Boyd and David Horst in the first half sealed the deal.
Timbers headed towards the Timbers Army in the opening half and kept possession for 30 seconds before a harmless cross covered by Andrew Weber allowed the young keeper a comfortable first touch.
The first shot came from Kalif Alhassan who sent a 30 yarder that sailed well over the post.
Sounders countered with the first corner of the match, but with no success.
Timbers missed a gilt edged opportunity in the 11th minute when Horst hit the post from a Songo’o corner and Jewsbury with the ball at his feet could not direct it in time on target. It was a huge missed opportunity for Portland.
Sounders showed a glimpse of intent in the 13th minute when Fredy Montero displayed some crafty footwork in the box around a couple defenders but couldn’t get a proper shot on frame to test Perkins.
Timbers fought back and Weber was forced into action diving forward to punch away an Alhassan cross.
The following minute came the goal that Portland frankly deserved for their bright start. It was a goal made in Scotland with Steven Smith providing a cross from the left and Kris Boyd netting superbly having shrugged off poor marking by Hurtado.
Evans earned a yellow card in the 18th minute after the referee let the play to advantage to no avail for Portland.
Sounders earned another corner in the 22nd minute, Parke’s header sailing far above the crossbar
The following minute, Alex Caskey made a terrific steal at midfield, driving down to the edge of the box, dishing to Johnson who was unable to capitalize.
Andrew Weber made a superb save in the 25th minute after a completely unmarked Boyd sent a header right on target. Seconds later off the ensuing corner, it was 2-0 aided by more unbelievably poor marking, this time by Jeff Parke allowed David Horst to send a header through the net.
n the 31st minute, an unnecessary hand ball by Caskey gave the Timbers a free kick, however the cross was handled by Weber with the Sounders clearly showing their frustration at their own performance.
In the 35th minute, the visitors started to show some life, the Sounders’ Captain, Mauro Rosales making a great play on Horst, forcing a corner. He sent a corner through the box, finally giving Jeff Parke two stabs at the ball which resembled more pass backs than shots to a grateful Troy Perkins.
A few minutes later in the 39th, Brad Evans headed a beautiful cross from Caskey that threatened but Perkins was in perfect position to foil the midfielder.
Jeff Parke had to leave the field and was replaced with Pat Ianni who was immediately involved in a shoving match with Jewsbury. Both players were fortunate to not get carded.
Evans was not having his best day and sent an off target shot from a good opportunity that Montero set up.
Just before half time, Evans completely whiffed a perfect chance by mistiming a header feet from the box. Sounders were pressing when Fucito robbed Zach Scott fairly easily, but passed up the chance to feed Boyd.
Alonso sent in one last effort, a 36 yard shot forcing Perkins into a save. Sounders best five minutes of the match had been the last five of the half.
Sigi not liking the way that first half went, subbed Andy Rose on for the under performing Brad Evans.
There was not a lot of action to start the second half until the 48th minute when Osvaldo Alonso was given a yellow card for a rough foul on Chara that would be ominous for the remainder of the half.
Khalif Alhassan in the 49th minute twigged a hamstring after making an exceptional tackle though still tried to stay on for a few more minutes but without success as his hamstring was significantly strained.
Arguably the most impressive performance of the match throughout certainly had to be Troy Perkins, as he made the first of a few diving saves on Osvaldo Alonso in the 52nd. After creating an excellent chance just inside the 18, he sent a screamer that the keeper was able to direct over the net.
54th minute saw Zizzo come on for the hampered Alhassan and being given a yellow card as a parting gift after getting into it with a handful of super cyan kits. The lack of discipline on both teams began to really be on full display with several players from each side jawing at each other.
In a brief moment of opportunity for Portland to seal it in the 58th minute, they saw a counter attack in which Songo’o supplied former Sounder Mike Fucito with an opportunity in front of the goal but his scoop shot went flying over the post.
Seattle countered in the same minute on the return possession. The inevitable goal which their pressure deserved came courtesy of Eddie Johnson. He was able to turn Mamadou Danso and Horst with his infamous step over and curled a beautiful finish past the outstretched Perkins.
Not to be outdone by the player, Franck Songo’o provided a terrific run down the field but Fucito failed to finish as Osvaldo Alonso found his way in front to stop his shot.
The Oregon Beaver, Danny Mwanga came in for Mike Fucito in the 66th minute to a rowdy applause and immediately sent a warning shot, just failing to connect on his first touch from a lateral threatening cross by Smith.
Minutes later, Fredy Montero was able to earn an dangerous free kick in the 69th minute from another tough foul by Danso, but Perkins managed to punch away another Rosales’ cross into the box.
Horst headed over a corner in a rare moment when the home side’s pressure was relieved in the 72nd minute.
Back at the North End, Montero’s free kick shot was on target but the very secure Troy Perkins was in comfortable position to intercept it.
Cordell Cato came on for the hard working Alex Caskey in the 75th minute for the Sounders last and final substitution.
Zach Scott nearly got on the score sheet at the wrong end having diverted a tame effort from Boyd into his own goal in the 76th minute. Andrew Weber stayed alert enough to guide the ball over.
Frank Songo’o came off in the 78th minute replaced by Lovel Palmer as John Spencer attempted to tighten the match and close it out.
A combination of slowing the game down and several shoving matches characterised the closing minutes.
In the end, the impatience got the best of the Sounders as Fredy Montero was sent off along with Lovel Palmer with reds in stoppage time. This would not be the best day for the Colombian.
Despite several attempts at delays and increased minutes added to stoppage time by referee Salazar, no final chance came to no fruition for Seattle.
The Timbers were able to close out several rushed attempts and ultimately heard a final whistle to witness an eruption from the 20 thousand plus at Jeld-Wen and signifying a party across the Rose City.
GK – 1 Troy Perkins
RB – 13 Jack Jewsbury
CB – 98 Mamadou Danso
CB – 12 David Horst
LB – 14 Steven Smith
RM – 11 Kalif Alhassan
CM – 21 Diego Chara
CM – 6 Darlington Nagbe
LM – 8 Franck Songo’o
F – 2 Mike Fucito
F – 9 Kris Boyd
Reserves: Mike Chabala, Sal Zizzo, Danny Mwanga, Eric Alexander, Joseph Bendik, Steve Purdy, Lovel Palmer.
GK – 33 Andrew Weber
RB – 20 Zach Scott
CB – 31 Jeff Parke
CB – 34 Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
LB – 8 Marc Burch
RM – 3 Brad Evans
CM – 6 Osvaldo Alonso
CM – 10 Mauro Rosales (captain)
LM – 27 Alex Caskey
F – 17 Fredy Montero
Reserves: Bryan Meredith, Patrick Ianni, Leo Gonzalez, Cordell Cato, Roger Levesque, Andy Rose, Sammy Ochoa.