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Played
October 13, 2013 9:00 PM EDT
Providence Park — Portland, Oregon
Referee:‬ H. Grajeda‎
Attendance:‬ 20674‎
 
 

Portland Timbers 1-0 Seattle Sounders: Alhassan winner leads Timbers to first place in West

Kalif Alhassan's first-half goal, and Donovan Ricketts' latest standout performance in goal, helped Portland beat Seattle, 1-0, to move into first place in the Western Conference.

By Ives Galarcep

Caleb Porter, Portland Timbers, MLS
Doug Pensinger
PORTLAND- With most of their top players either absent due to injury, or playing injured, the Seattle Sounders had to figure trying to escape from their Cascadia Derby clash versus the Portland Timbers with a point would be a respectable result.

For 44 minutes it looked as though the Sounders might pull that off, but Kalif Alhassan saw to it that there would be no scoreless draw to be had, blasting him a goal just before halftime to help give the Timbers a vital 1-0 victory at Jeld-Wen Field on Sunday night in front of a crowd of 20,674, the Timbers’ 50th consecutive sellout.

A poor DeAndre Yedlin clearance in the Timbers penalty area fell to Alhassan, who buried the chance with a low shot past a frozen Marcus Hahnemann, who started in goal for Seattle in place of struggling regular Michael Gspurning.

Already missing injured regulars Eddie Johnson, Obafemi Martins and Djimi Traore, Seattle went a man down in the 75th minute after Osvaldo Alonso was sent off for what appeared to be an elbow to the throat of Portland’s Will Johnson.

Seattle nearly found a way to escape Jeld-Wen Field with a point when Steve Zakuani blasted a wide-open look toward goal that deflected off Futty Danso before hitting the crossbar. Jack Jewsbury cleared a follow-up shot off the line from Lamar Neagle.

That good fortune, and Portland’s stingy defense, made Alhassan’s goal stand up as Ricketts finished with three saves to help the Timbers record their fourth straight home shutout victory.

The win moved the Timbers into first place in the MLS Western Conference, a point ahead of Real Salt Lake and two points ahead of Seattle with two matches remaining. They are now tied with the New York Red Bulls in the Supporters Shield standings, but the Red Bulls hold the edge via goals scored.

The Timbers victory also helped the Vancouver Whitecaps claim the Cascadia Cup, after finishing with the best record in match-ups between Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.

The Sounders started the match in impressive fashion, with Lamar Neagle forcing an acrobatic save and Clint Dempsey blasting a shot off the crossbar in the first 15 minutes. That early charge didn’t last though, and Portland eventually took control of the match, using their methodical possession style to limit Seattle’s chances and possession.

Dempsey played most of the match with an injured shoulder that forced him to favor his left arm after about 12 minutes into the match. He had little impact on the match after that early chance off the bar, and left in the 77th minute.

The rest of the Seattle attack struggled without strikers Eddie Johnson and Obafemi Martins, though Neagle saw another golden scoring chance streak by him in the 62nd minute when a loose ball sped by.

The match turned ugly in the 75th minute, when Alonso appeared to catch Timbers captain Johnson with an elbow to the throat, a move spotted by the assistant referee, who consulted with referee Hilario Grajeda before a red card was issued. Alonso had to be restrained after the call, and could face additional sanctions along with the one-game suspension he already faces.

Seattle nearly found a late equalizer in the 81st minute when David Estrada sent a low shot to the left corner, but Ricketts dove perfectly to stop the shot and preserve his 12th shutout of the season.

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Portland Timbers

1
Donovan Ricketts
Goalkeeper
 - 
5
 - 
44
Pa-Modou Kah
Defender
 - 
98
Mamadou Danso
Defender
 - 
4
Will Johnson
Midfielder
 - 
13
Jack Jewsbury
Defender
 - 
21
 - 
11
Kalif Alhassan
Midfielder
45′ 46′ 86′
 - 
6
 - 
20
A. Valencia
Striker
67′
 - 
37
 - 

Seattle Sounders FC

 - 
24
 - 
6
 - 
12
 - 
17
 - 
34
 - 
6
Osvaldo Alonso
Midfielder
74′
 - 
7
Mauro Rosales
Midfielder
57′
 - 
12
Alex Caskey
Midfielder
86′
 - 
6
Adam Moffat
Midfielder
27′
 - 
27
Lamar Neagle
Midfielder
 - 
2

Substitutes

-
Milos Kocic
Goalkeeper
 - 
16
 - 
11
 - 
8
Diego Valeri
Midfielder
 - 
14
Ben Zemanski
Midfielder
67′
 - 
5
Brad Ring
Midfielder
 - 
9
 - 

Substitutes

 - 
81
 - 
4
Marc Burch
Defender
 - 
18
 - 
22
 - 
7
Steve Zakuani
Midfielder
77′
 - 
5
Andy Rose
Midfielder
86′
 - 
16

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
E. Torres E. Torres
Striker
Chivas USA
6 3
Clint Dempsey Clint Dempsey
Striker
Seattle Sounders
6 1
V. Sánchez V. Sánchez
Striker
Colorado
4 3
Federico Higuaín Federico Higuaín
Striker
Columbus Crew
4 2
Bradley Wright-Phillips Bradley Wright-Phillips
Striker
NY Red Bulls
4 1