MLS Snapshot: Seattle Sounders 1-0 Portland Timbers

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One game in 100 words: These Pacific Northwest rivals played it very close in the first half, as both teams’ had offensive runs go back and forth while their back lines held firm. And for the majority of the second half, it was anyone’s game. The Timbers did well to lessen impact of the usual dynamic duo—Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey—although the ex-Fulham player was opportunistic for the only goal of the match. There were points in this competition where Portland should’ve tied it up, but then again, failing to finish is the cruel nature of soccer. Seattle moved to third place in the Western Conference with the victory. Portland is still behind the playoff boundary in the eighth place.

 

Goals

Seattle: Dempsey 77′

Portland: None

 

Three moments that mattered

77’— Dempsey for the win — American notable Clint Dempsey was the player to scrap his way to the game-deciding moment. A deflected throw-in went into the Timbers’ penalty area, landing right on Andy Rose’s left foot, and the midfielder’s instant shot compelled goalkeeper Adam Larsen Kwarasey to fall to the ground for the save. But the rebound was loose around the five-yard box, and Dempsey was there to bury it.

81’ — Adi hits attempt off the bar — Patrolling near the left corner of the box on the offensive attack, Ishmael Yartey patiently looked to the wing and dished out a couple of back passes to maintain possession. Then, with substitute Fanendo Adi making a open run to the five-yard box, Yartey delivered a bending cross that connected with the 24-year-old’s head, but it clanged the crossbar. Goalie Stefan Frei had luck on his side.

75’ — Adi sees header skid wide — This time, Alvas Powell manned the wing, and Adi was waiting inches from the near post for the fast-moving cross, with Brad Evans giving the forward room to execute a great attempt. At such close range, if Adi had been able to direct his header roughly a foot inside, the Timbers would have grabbed the lead in the final 15 minutes. That was just not the case, though, as the slight miscalculation haunted Portland.

 

Lineups

Seattle: Stefan Frei; Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans, Zach Scott, Dylan Remick; Marco Pappa (Leonardo González 86′), Osvaldo Alonso, Gonzalo Pineda, Lamar Neagle (Andy Rose 77′); Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins

Portland: Adam Larsen Kwarasey; Alvas Powell, Nat Borchers, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafana; Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Dairon Asprilla (Gaston Fernandez 62′), Darlington Nagbe, Ishmael Yartey; Maximiliano Urruti (Fanendo Adi 74′)