Portland Timbers achieve huge 3-0 away win at rivals Seattle Sounders

Portland Timbers team

The Portland Timbers got their biggest ever away win at Seattle, with a 3-0 win against the Sounders. Goals from Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Santiago Moreno and Dairon Asprilla helped push Portland into a five-game unbeaten run. They’re now level on points in the West.

Portland achieves biggest ever away win at Seattle

Team News

Seattle makes a few changes to the team that defeated Toronto 2-0. Raul Ruidiaz is back in the starting lineup at striker. Albert Rusnak and Kellyn Rowe are also back in the fold. Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro are also in attack. 

For Portland, they too make some tweaks. The Chara brothers start, as Yimmi replaces Dairon Asprilla. Jaroslaw Niezgoda leads the line, along with Sebastian Blanco and Santiago Moreno. 

Sounders lineup (4-2-3-1): Stefan Frei; Nouhou Tolo, Jackson Ragen, Yeimar Andrade, Alex Roldan; Albert Rusnak, Kellyn Rowe; Jordan Morris, (C) Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan; Raul Ruidiaz

Seattle subs: Stefan Cleveland, Abdoulaye Cissoko, Leo Chu, Joshua Atencio, Jimmu Medranda, Danny Leyva, Will Bruin, Fredy Montero, Dylan Teves

Timbers lineup (4-2-3-1): Aljaz Ivacic; Claudio Bravo, Dario Zuparic, Larrys Mabiala, Jose Van Rankin; (C) Diego Chara, Eryk Williamson; Yimmi Chara, Sebastian Blanco, Santiago Moreno; Jaroslaw Niezgoda 

Portland subs: David Bingham, Zac McGraw, Pablo Bonilla, Bill Tuiloma, David Ayala, Cristhian Paredes, Marvin Loria, Felipe Mora, Dairon Asprilla

First Half: Jaroslaw Niezgoda gives Portland the lead

The pre-game celebrations were in full effect as Seattle raised their CCL Champions banner. And also, showcased their CCL Champions badges on their jerseys. Sounders also started the better and should’ve taken the early lead. Both Ivacic and Bravo made wonderful close range saves.

But soon thereafter, Portland scored the opening goal. From a beautiful cross by Blanco, Niezgoda got his header past Frei for the 1-0 lead. His fourth goal in his last four games, and seventh league tally overall. Against the run of play.

Seattle got most of the action after the goal but couldn’t equalize. The first half ended with the home side trailing by a single goal. Sounders held a 64%-36% possession advantage and outshot their Cascadia rivals eleven-to-three, even Ruidiaz hitting the woodwork. Second-half adjustments needed from Brian Schmetzer to get his team back into the lead. If Portland holds on, they’ll be tied on points with Seattle.

Second Half: Portland pulls away for an emphatic road win

It went from bad to worse immediately after the restart. Jackson Ragen hacked down Williamson just 24 seconds in and was sent off, with a second yellow. Seattle were left to deal with the rest of the game with 10 men. The Sounders fought to gain momentum, but eventually Portland would have their way, in a big way.

First, there was a penalty, as a handball was called. Referee Chris Penso pointed to the spot and up stepped Santiago Moreno. The young Colombian calmly slotted one past Frei to double the Timbers’ lead. A few minutes later, Dairon Asprilla came off the bench to round off a beautiful counter attacking goal, to put Portland up 3-0.

Portland completes their biggest ever away win in Seattle, 3-0.

Three Takeaways from Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers

Portland are rounding into form. Make that now five games unbeaten for Giovanni Savarese’s men, and how they managed to do it. They survived the early pressure from Seattle and ran the show from there. They got a bit of everything in their performance; goals from their striker, a penalty and a wonderful counter attack. They’re looking more formidable by the week. Seattle raised a banner, but Portland raised a victory.

Seattle looked shaky, and must rediscover form. You’d be hard-pressed to understand how Seattle is now 8W-2D-8L, that’s right, as many losses as wins halfway through the season. It seemed as though their early start was as good as it got. And now Seattle is level on points with Portland, and also head to Nashville looking to get back to winning ways.

The Western Conference is a battle of attrition. Take one look at it, fourth place LA Galaxy and tenth-place Vancouver Whitecaps are separated by three points. It’s incredible how tight the teams, and the battles that will ensue between the teams. It’s going to be fun to watch.
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