Two late goals made sure the Sounders extended their lead at the top of the MLS table and claim regional bragging rights over their archrivals.SEATTLE — In front of 64,207 fans, the Seattle Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers for the second time in less than a week, running out 2-0 winners at CenturyLink Field and denting their Cascadia rivals' playoff ambitions.
After 70 scoreless minutes of soccer, the opening goal came courtesy of American World Cup star Clint Dempsey, in his first Sounders appearance since captaining the USA in Brazil. Portland keeper Donovan Ricketts did well to deny two close chances resulting from a corner kick, but after a hashed clearance, Gonzalo Pineda picked out Dempsey at the far post.
Marco Pappa made it 2-0 in the 86th minute. Delaying his run behind the play, Pappa arrived into the box late and Lamar Neagle cut a pass back. Taking advantage of a trip by the scrambling Ricketts, Pappa finished to ensure his team the victory.
Seattle (12-4-2) now leads the Supporters' Shield standings over D.C. United by seven points, and enjoys a 10-point cushion over Real Salt Lake in the battle for Western Conference supremacy. Portland goes to 4-5-9 on the year, and is four points behind Vancouver in the last playoff spot with two more matches played.