Timbers make early goals hold up in 2-1 win over Seattle
The Portland Timbers would host their traditional rival Seattle on a Sunday afternoon game at JELD-WEN Field, the third time the two teams have met in MLS since the Timbers came into the league last year. The Timbers would surge to an early lead on goals by Kris Boyd and David Horst and hold on for a 2-1 win in front of another sold-out crowd of 20,438.
There would be back and forth action from the starting whistle though neither team would threaten to score until the 11th minute when a Timbers corner kick by Franck Songo’o had David Horst wide open six yards from the box, but the Timbers defender’s header rattled off the crossbar, and then the rebound went wide left.
In the sixteen minute, it was the Timbers attacking down the right side, with a dangerous cross by Kalif Alhassan forcing a reaction punch save by Seattle goalkeeper Andrew Weber. But only one minute later, the Timbers would make their attack pay off, this time down the left side with Steven Smith running a nice overlap and getting a pass from Franck Songo’o, and then played a nice low cross to a wide open Kris Boyd, who one-timed the shot past Weber for the 1-0 lead.
In the 25th minute the Timbers had another great chance on a high cross from Alhassan had Boyd wide open just eight yards out, but his header was put just over the crossbar by a tip save from Weber. But on the ensuing corner kick, the Timbers would once again threaten in the air, and this time made it pay off as Horst got to the Songo’o corner kick, his header going down off the turf this time, but then bouncing up and past Weber and into the net, and the Timbers had opened up a 2-0 lead.
The early quality chances had mostly been for the home side up to this point, but the last 10 minutes of the first half would show a shift of momentum toSeattleas they pushed hard to get a goal back before the half.
On a 35th minute corner kick, after an initial shot had rebounded back out, Jeff Parke had a good look on the follow-up, but the shot was right at Troy Perkins and saved.
Brad Evans had a great chance to pull Seattle within a goal in the 44th minute when he made a nice run to the top of the Timbers box, but his low shot was a few yards wide left. One minute later, it was Seattle’s Alex Caskey with a wide-open header chance that he badly missed from just six yards out.
Near the end of first half stoppage time,Seattle had one last chance to pull a goal back before the half when Osvaldo Alsonso hit a monster blast from 40 yards out that forced Perkins to tip the shot over the crossbar. It would be the last chance of the half, and the Timbers held the 2-0 lead at the break.
Seattle would get the first good chance of the first half when Alonso made a nice run across the top of the box, and his high blast from 20 yards out was tipped over by Perkins.
The Timbers had a great chance of their own in the 58th minute when Songo’o crossed one leg behind the other to chip a pass to Mike Fucito, and the Timbers forward was able to turn on the ball but placed it well over the crossbar.
About a minute later, the Timbers would pay for some aggressive defensive play when Eddie Johnson got around Horst and made an open run into the box, cutting the ball back onto his left foot, he then placed a beautiful curling shot into the top right corner past a diving Perkins, and Seattle had finally pulled back to 2-1.
In the 61st minute the Timbers nearly re-took the two goal lead when Fucito made a nice run into the Seattle box, but couldn’t get off a clean shot, with Songo’o placing the follow-up wide left. Newly acquired Timbers forward Danny Mwanga nearly made an immediate impact when Smith made a low cross across the goal mouth that just eluded his touch in the 67th minute.
In the 76th minute, a strange play nearly took the Timbers lead back out to two goals when a low free kick from Boyd was stabbed at by Zach Scott, with his deflection nearly slipping into the net but was off the crossbar and over the Seattle goal.
Seattle would control much of the run of pay for the final 15 minutes, but could produce little in the way of threats to the Timbers goal. As the match was about to enter stoppage time, it would turn even more chippy when some shoving away from the ball would result in the ejection of Seattle’s Fredy Montero and Portland’s Lovel Palmer.
Though Seattle got a few late header chances, they’d never threaten again through an extended stoppage time, and the Timbers would hold on for the 2-1 win.