PORTLAND, Ore. — The second-ever MLS meeting between archrivals Seattle and Portland wasn't lacking for intensity, drama or passion.
An 83rd-minute penalty-kick goal by Osvaldo Alonso completed a five-goal second half and gave the Sounders a 3-2 victory over the Timbers in a seesaw match in front of a raucous sell-out crowd on Sunday at JELD-WEN Field.
The victory tarnished an elaborate and passionate effort by the Timbers Army as they watched their team go ahead 1-0 and then 2-1. But every time the Timbers started the party, the Sounders rained on it with equalizers in the 57th and 74th minutes by forward Fredy Montero.
The winning goal came after midfielder Lamar Neagle was tackled in the box by defender Eric Brunner, prolonging Portland’s misery with a defeat in the team’s first MLS match in Portland between the hated rivals. Seattle's win extended their unbeaten streak to eight straight matches while their Cascadia rivals are now winless in seven in a row.
Portland took their second lead of the match in the 69th minute on a goal by forward Jorge Perlaza, who was freed by a brilliant entry pass by midfielder and fellow Colombian import Diego Chara. Perlaza’s shot glanced off Seattle defender Tyson Wahl and past a diving Kasey Keller for the goal.
But Seattle tied the game at 2-2 just five minutes later when Neagle put a cross into the box from the left side. Midfielder Mauro Rosales brought it down on the right side of the area straight into Montero, who had an easy tap-in past Timbers 'keeper Troy Perkins.
The Timbers’ first goal came a minute into the second half when forward Kalif Alhassan — who was moved up in the lineup from the midfield spot — went wide of Seattle’s defense left of the goal. The Ghanaian set a pass into Perlaza, whose marker Jeff Parke tapped it in for an own-goal as Perlaza jostled him for position.
Four minutes later, a free kick goal by Montero transitioned the celebration to the Emerald City Supporters corner of the stadium.
The play in first half play didn’t equal the gravity of the occasion. Neither team put together significant threats on goal, but the pace of play remained fast. Seattle had the most notable opportunities with two open looks at the net, but failed to capitalize.
In the 32nd minute, Sounders forward and Timbers nemesis Roger Levesque got open on a run up the right side. But rather than take advantage of his one-on-one opportunity against Perkins, he attempted a cross that was covered by Portland defense.
Then in the 38th minute, Sounders midfielder Álvaro Fernández snuck behind Portland’s defense to a clear look at the goal. But a diving Perkins save thwarted his shot. Seattle got off nine shots to Portland’s seven in the first half.
With the victory, Seattle move to 9-4-8 and leapfrog FC Dallas in the Western Conference standings to move into second place, four points behind the LA Galaxy. They next host LA in the quarterfinals of the US Open Cup on July 13 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash
For the Timbers, it's another tough home loss as Portland now have failed to win in front of their home crowd in five straight league matches. They drop to 5-9-3 on the season and next travel to Chicago on July 16.
POR -- own goal (Jeff Parke) 46
SEA -- Fredy Montero 4 (unassisted) 57
POR -- Jorge Perlaza 4 (Diego Chara 1) 69
SEA -- Fredy Montero 5 (Mauro Rosales 5, Lamar Neagle 1) 74
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso 3 (penalty kick) 83
POR -- James Marcelin (caution; Reckless Foul) 56
SEA -- Fredy Montero (caution; Shirt Removal) 58
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Foul) 63
SEA -- Mauro Rosales (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 78
POR -- Eric Brunner (ejection; Denied Goal Scoring Opportunity (Foul)) 81
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni 56), Tyson Wahl, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 66), Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan 88).
Substitutes Not Used: Servando Carrasco, Nate Jaqua, Zach Scott, Terry Boss.
Portland Timbers -- Troy Perkins, Steve Purdy, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Rodney Wallace, James Marcelin, Diego Chara, Jack Jewsbury, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo 64), Kalif Alhassan, Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper 75).
Substitutes Not Used: Kevin Goldthwaite, Jeremy Hall, Eddie Johnson, Adam Moffat, Adin Brown.
Referee: Jorge Gonzalez
Referee's Assistants: Greg Barkey; James Conlee
4th Official: Allen Chapman
Time of Game: 1:54
Weather: Sunny and 70 degrees