The Portland Timbers came north to take on the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference semifinals on a windy evening in the Pacific Northwest. Though Seattle had a few early chances, it was the Timbers who got on the board first in the 15th minute. Portland midfielder Diego Chara spied Jack Jewsbury on his right. Jewsbury carried the ball towards the endline before crossing it to find forward Ryan Johnson near post where he then headed it into the back of the net. 1-0, Portland.
This being a playoff match, Seattle came back hard only to find Donovan Ricketts once again provide a clutch save. In the 20th minute, Sounders midfielder Clint Dempsey unleashed a curling free kick that was headed upper 90 only to be denied by an outstretched Ricketts.
With the second half underway, both teams' pace slowed a bit. Caleb Porter subbed in Kalif Alhassan for Diego Valeri in the 61st minute and the Ghanaian got busy. Cutting in from the right side, he played a perfect ball to Darlington Nagbe who was lurking in the Seattle penalty area. Nagbe took a touch, make a beautifully quick Jack-be-nimble jump over a defender, turned, and fired. 2-0, Portland.
However, Seattle added a goal late in the 90th minute. Osvaldo Alonso pounced on a loose ball in the box to cut the Sounders' lead in half.