Rodney Wallace's header cannot be cleared by the Seattle defense and this goal would earn the Timbers the 1-1 draw

The Portland Timbers hostedSeattlein an early afternoon match at JELD-WEN Field, with a chance at clinching the Cascadia Cup with a win.  In a very physical match that saw three Timbers knocked out with injuries, orcing the Timbers to finish the match down a man, the Timbers would rally from a 1-0 deficit for a 1-1 draw on a goal by Rodney Wallace, and only the woodwork kept a late Timbers shot from stealing the win in front of another sold out crowd of 20,438 in Portland.

It was apparent from the start that Seattle brought a very physical strategy down I-5 for this match, which would result in a tight early contest, with few chances until the tenth minute when Seattle’s Oswaldo Alonso had a good look after the Timbers failed to clear, hitting a shot just wide left from 15 yards out.  Four minutes later, a Seattle free kick was not well cleared by the Timbers, with Alonso getting an open look from 30 yards out but blasted it well over the crossbar.

In the 17th minute it was Seattle’s Steve Zakuani producing a great chance with a cross from the left side, with Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts just getting enough to foil a header by Brad Evans, with Evans getting a chance to turn on the rebound from a tight angle but blasted it wide right.

The physical play had eased up through the middle of the first half, with a more free-flowing style but few scoring chances, until the 35th minute when Portland’s Franck Songo’o made a nice curling cross from near the corner of the box that just eluded the lunge of midfielder Diego Chara.  Songo’o would produce another great chance three minutes later as his strike from 25 yards out was only kept out by a nice dive save from Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning.  On the ensuing corner kick, defender Hanyer Mosquera got his head to the ball but it bounced off the turf and harmlessly up and over the crossbar.

In the 41st minute, Seattle’s Fredy Montero had a breakaway chance but Timbers defender David Horst did well with the last second sliding tackle to end the scoring opportunity.  Two minutes later, it was Timbers midefielder Sal Zizzo making a nice run down the right side, cutting back before having his shot blocked by the Seattle defense, and a rebound chance from Portland’s Jack Jewsbury would slide just wide left, and the half would end as a scoreless one.

One minute into the second half, the visitors had a great chance when Andy Rose made a curling pass to the far post that Evans had a chance at on a tight angle, but put it into the side netting instead.

In the 52nd minute would be the first injury that would change the course of the match, when Seattle’s Eddie Johnson collided with Ricketts as the Timbers keeper attempted to control a cross, with Johnson’s shoulder colliding with Ricketts left shoulder.  Though Rickett’s attempted to continue, a minute later he signaled to come off, to be replaced by Joe Bendik.

Seattle did not take long to take advantage of the replacement Timbers keeper, as within seconds Seattle’s Montero would turn on a shot inside the Timbers box and put the ball over Bendik’s outstretched hands and into the net, and Seattle had a 1-0 lead.

The Timbers nearly leveled the score two minutes later when Songo’o found Horst open near the top of the box, but his low shot would slide just a yard wide left.  In the 66th minute, Portland’s Chara would make a nice touch pass to Bright Dike who briefly had an open look, but Seattle’s defense closed down and blocked the shot before it could be put on net.

In the 78th minute, the Timbers would finally level the score off a Jewsbury corner kick, with Rodney Wallace’s header being partially blocked, with Seattle’s Leo Gonzalez attempting to clear the ball off the line put was only able to put it into the left side netting inside the goal and the Timbers had leveled the score at 1-1.

Jewsbury would have two good chances himself in the 83rd minute, with the first shot from 20 yards out being blocked, and the rebound going wide right.  Two minutes later, it was Danny Mwanga being played through into the Seattle box, but his shot was blocked off his foot.

In the 87th minute, the Timbers would suffer their third injury of the match, with Chara going down, after Songo’o had left injured 15 minutes earlier.  As the Timbers had also subbed Zizzo out, the Timbers would play the last three minutes plus six minutes of stoppage time with just 10 men.

The six minutes of stoppage time would produce great chances for each team to steal the win, with the Timbers only being kept from the win by the woodwork one minute in, when a corner kick fell to the toe of Dike inside the box, with the Timbers striker’s low blast rattling off the right post, rebounding across in from of the goal and beind the Seattle goalkeeper before finally being cleared from near the opposite post.

Seattle also had a good chance to steal the win five minutes into stoppage when a Timbers clearance fell right to Alonso, but his low blast was smothered well by Bendik, and the whistle would blow seconds later for the 1-1 draw.

http://www.portlandtimbers.com/news/2012/09/recap-portland-rally-1-1-draw-cascadia-cup-clash

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