Timbers' season comes to an end with 2-0 overtime loss to Seattle
PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers saw their most successful season to date come to an abrupt end in overtime of the Western Conference Semifinals as Welton Melo tallied two goals and the Seattle Sounders won the series 3-2 on aggregate goals Sunday night at Qwest Field.
The top-seeded Timbers began the game with a one-goal advantage entering Sunday’s deciding match, but had their championship aspirations dashed with a two-goal effort form the Sounders, who will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Western Conference Finals.
Despite the early exit from the postseason, the Timbers (18-7-3, 57pts) finished with their best record in four seasons while claiming the A-League regular season title.
Seattle tacked on its first goal in the fifth minute when Billy Sleeth crossed to Melo, who knocked in the easy goal from inside the box to tie the series 2-2.
Melo added the clincher in the 10th minute of overtime, taking a feed from Sawatzky and footing it into the back of the net for the series-winning “golden goal.”
Portland nearly gave up another goal in the 21st when the ball bounced wildly in the box behind Timbers goalkeeper Josh Saunders, but the attempt was cleared and the Timbers escaped the threat unscathed.
For the Timbers, Jake Sagare showed a great individual effort in the 25th, corralling a ball that was headed out of bounds and dribbling through a handful of Seattle defenders to manage a shot, which was handled by Sounders goalkeeper Preston Burpo.
Andrew Gregor put a shot on target in the 54th from 20 yards out, but his attempt was also saved by the Seattle ‘keeper.
Portland’s Edwin Miranda logged four shots on the evening, including several long-distance attempts that sailed high over the crossbar.
Saunders made a spectacular save in the 74th on a half volley by Melo, stretching out for the one-handed rejection to keep the Sounders at bay.
Despite the Timbers controlling possession for much of the night, Seattle out-shot Portland, 15-14.
SCORING SUMMARY: Melo, 5’ (Sleeth); Melo, 100’ (Sawatzky).
PENALTY SUMMARY: POR Alvarez, YC (58’); SEA Sleeth, YC (20’), Edwards, YC (61’), Scott, YC (82’).
LINEUPS: PORTLAND J. Saunders GK, Wilkinson D, Morrison D, Thompson D, Alcaraz-Cuellar M, Winters M, Gregor M, Miranda M, Sagare M, Alvarez F (Afash 85’), Gordon F; SEATTLE Burpo GK, Jackson D, Edwards D, Scott D, Sleeth D (Jenkins 84’), Bolanos M, Somoza M (Sawatzky 90’), Sakuda M, Farrell M (Brown 75’), Welton F, Levesque F.