PORTLAND, Ore. – Despite a late second half drive that included a brace from Portland forward Fanendo Adi, the Timbers fell 4-2 to the Seattle Sounders Sunday afternoon at Providence Park.
A goal from Clint Dempsey – his fifth against the Timbers this season – was sandwiched around an Obafemi Martins brace and Chad Barrett goal to give Seattle the victory. A 73rd-minute goal from substitute Adi, who also converted in stoppage time, gave the Timbers late life, but Martins’ final strike three minutes later quickly snuffed out the rally.
Despite beating Seattle out on shots, possession, passes, passing accuracy and corners, it was the Sounders' first win since they beat the Houston Dynamo on Aug. 10 and puts them back in the sole No. 1 spot in the Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings with 45 points from 24 games.
Portland’s busy week – which started with a 1-1 away draw last Saturday against the New England Revolution and continued in a 4-1 CONCACAF Champions League victory over Alpha United in Guyana – comes to an end with the defending conference champions still on the outside of the playoff picture in sixth place in the West with 31 points from 25 games.
Before the Seattle onslaught, Portland had the game’s first dangerous chance. An Osvaldo Alonso foul on Darlington Nagbe just outside the box set up a Diego Valeri free kick in the 11th minute that ricocheted off the wall and grazed the top of the crossbar.
Seattle hit the woodwork next three minutes later when Martins played in to Dempsey, who found an opening in traffic for a shot that dinged off the inside of the far post.
Seattle wouldn’t be denied on their next chance, however.
In the 18th minute, a 14-pass sequence set up Brad Evans on the right wing, who flew past Timbers defender Liam Ridgewell and rolled an unchallenged cross to a charging Martins for an easy tap-in goal.
Portland had a good chance to equalize at the half-hour mark on a give-and-go between Will Johnson and Valeri. But Valeri’s open shot at the edge of the area was deflected over the crossbar for a corner.
Seattle doubled their lead in the 34th minute on a perfectly-executed counter attack off a Portland corner kick. Martins came away with the Seattle clearance, drove through the center of the park and fed a charging Dempsey for a cool finish underneath onrushing Timbers goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts.
Barrett made it 3-0 on a 70th-minute blast through Ricketts’ gloves from the left wing on a feed from Dempsey from the center of the box. Adi then briefly rejuvenated the Portland faithful when he got on the end of a long pinpoint Rodney Wallace cross and poked it past Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei to cut the Seattle lead to 3-1.
But before the green smoke from the Timbers Army could dissipate, Seattle found the back of the net again on a bullish run from Martins and authoritative finish past Ricketts.
Seattle are back in action at home Saturday against the Colorado Rapids, while the Timbers have another Cascadia match on tap the same day at the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Portland Timbers (7-8-10, 31pts) vs. Seattle Sounders FC (14-7-3, 45pts)
Aug. 24, 2014 – Providence Park (Portland, Ore.)
Goals by Half 1 2 F
Seattle Sounders FC 2 2 4
Portland Timbers 0 2 2
SEA: Martins (Evans, Yedlin), 18
SEA: Dempsey (Martins), 34
SEA: Barrett (Dempsey), 70
POR: Adi (Wallace), 73
SEA: Martins (Pineda), 76
POR: Adi (Zakuani), 90+1
POR: Ridgewell (Caution), 23
POR: Paparatto (Caution), 38
SEA: Marshall (Caution), 46
SEA: Scott (Caution), 53
SEA: Alonso (Caution), 61
POR: Urruti (Caution), 64
Lineups & Stats
POR: GK Ricketts, D O’Rourke, D Paparatto, D Ridgewell, D Harrington, M Johnson ©, M Fernández (Wallace, 67), M Chara, F Valeri, F Urruti (Adi, 71), F Nagbe (Zakuani, 80)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Weber, D Jewsbury, D Kah, M Zakuani, M Zemanski
TOTAL SHOTS: 21 (Valeri, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Adi, Fernández, 2); FOULS: 12 (Paparatto, Urruti, 3); OFFSIDES: 5; CORNER KICKS: 13; SAVES: 2
SEA: GK Frei, D Gonzalez, D Scott, D Marshall, D Yedlin, M Alonso, M Evans © (Neagle, 78), M Pineda, M Pappa (Barrett, 63), F Martins, F Dempsey (Rose, 80)
Substitutes Not Used: GK Hahnemann, D Anibaba, M Azira, F Cooper
TOTAL SHOTS: 16 (Dempsey, 6); SHOTS ON GOAL: 6 (Dempsey, Martins, 2); FOULS: 15 (Marshall, 3); OFFSIDES: 1; CORNER KICKS: 3; SAVES: 4
Referee: Baldomero Toledo
Assistant Referees: Kevin Klinger, Mike Rottersman
4th Official: Tyler Ploeger
Time of Game: 1:51
Weather: Sunny, 72 degrees
All statistics contained in this box score are unofficial