The Pacific Northwest matchup featured five second-half goals in a thriller.
This is what rivalries are all about.
In a game that saw a total of five goals in the second half - including an own goal and penalty-kick score in the back-and-forth match - the Seattle Sounders held on for 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers Sunday afternoon at Jeld-Wen Field.
“It’s as exciting an atmosphere as I’ve played in here in Portland," Seattle forward Roger Levesque said. "With the game going how it did – us going down a goal, fighting back, going down a goal, fighting back – I think it just kept building and building and creating that drama to the very end, when the good guys came out on top.”Fredy Montero scored two goals and Osvaldo Alonso had the game-winner on a penalty kick for the Sounders, who extended their unbeaten streak to eight. Kalif Alhassan and Jorge Perlaza had goals for struggling Portland, which saw its winless slide go to seven games.
“For me it was amazing so I feel very happy because I scored twice," Montero said. "The most important thing is the three points for the team, looking forward to the playoffs.”
It wasn't easy for Seattle to get past its biggest rival.
After a scoreless first half, the Timbers (5-9-3) got on the board one minute into the second half on an own goal by Seattle defender Jeff Parke. Portland's Alhassan’s ran along the endline and shot the ball towards the right post, hitting Parke’s left foot on its way into the Sounders’ net.
Montero evened the score in the 58th minute on a set-piece strike that found the space inside the left post. Portland midfielder James Marcelin fouled the Colombian 25 yards outside the box to set up the free kick, which evaded the Timbers’ wall and a sprawled Perkins to tie the match at one apiece.
“When the games are really close, I don’t have that many opportunities to score," Montero said. "Free kicks are a chance for me to score. I felt really happy because it was a great moment in the game for us. I think the team is looking forward to getting into first place.”
Portland retook the lead in the 68th minute on Perlaza’s fourth goal of the year. His right-footed shot inside the box hit Wahl’s left thigh and deflected into the Seattle goal to once again give the home side a one-goal lead.
But that would be all the scoring the Timbers would have for the remainder of the game.
The Sounders tied the match 2-2 in the 74th minute. On a cross from substitute Lamar Neagle to Mauro Rosales inside the box, the Argentinean hit a soft lob to a waiting Montero, who redirected the pass for his second goal of the match and fifth of the year."The second goal he got was a great cross by Rosales," Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid said. "He picked him out. He was unlucky not to get a third off his header. I was very pleased with how he played and what his work rate was all about today.”
With 10 minutes left in regulation time, Alonso gave the Sounders the lead for good on a penalty kick. He initially set up his own goal as he lofted a pass to Neagle racing towards the Portland goal. Timbers defender Eric Brunner jumped on the back of Neagle and sent him to the ground.
“One of the reasons we wanted to get Neagle on there at the end is we felt we could get behind," Schmid said. "Purdy with Neagle’s speed. I told Lamar to make sure he made runs off the ball, which he did. It was a good short-short-long combination. He ran hard behind and Brunner wasn’t left with a lot of choices, or else Lamar brings that ball down and buries it.”
Montero attempted to get the hat-trick in the 87th minute with a point blank header. The ball struck the line and was grabbed by Perkins before it crossed into the goal.
The Sounders next play Wednesday night in a US Open Cup match against the LA Galaxy. Portland hosts Mexico’s Club America in a friendly on Thursday evening
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