Portland survives the first half and for the first time in a while does not allow an early goal. The second half brought the fireworks as all the goals were scored in this half.
Portland tried a new line-up moving Jorge Perlaza up as a lone striker inserting a more defensive minded James Marcelin as a central mid. As soon as the game kicked off you could feel the energy in the stadium. Almost like a stream of electricity went from person to person.
On the pitch both teams came out looking almost anxious and too jacked-up. This led to some over hitting of the ball which sailed passes and crosses a like. This energy seemed to leave the Seattle Sounders faster than the Portland Timbers which lead to some half chances in the first 10 minutes of the game.
More after the Jump:
Portland's first chance of the half came from a free kick from Captain Jack Jewsbury in the 10th minute that Steve Purdy almost got to but put the ball back across the face of goal. With that Chance Portland seemed to settle down a little and played better possession and started to assert more of their will on the game. Especially with the more forward thinking Chara.
From the 15th minute on the game settled down after an almost frenetic pace to start. With Portland clogging the middle and Seattle putting a lot of numbers behind the ball the game almost has no offensive flow to either team and seems like it will come down to a counter or a set piece.
However Seattle when they did start to get a rhythm they looked dangerous. However Portland really did well containing them and forcing a lot of their play wide or into other defenders. Portland was 1 or 2 good passes away from a rally dangerous counter.
Portland avoided another first half goal in the 31st minute when a through ball found a wide open Roger Levesque behind the defense with no one around him, Luckily Troy Perkins came out and closed down the space and the subsequent cross and shot was blocked.
After the scare Portland was able to get 3 corners with only a half chance coming from Eric Brunner but his header found a Soounder head and went out for a corner. After the corners once again Levesque found space in front of the defense and hita great ball Osvaldo Alonso behind the defense for a 1 on 1 with Perkins. Perkins came up big with a huge save.
At the half MLS announced the All Stars and Captain Jack made the team! Congrats to him. See the other starters here.
No subs for either team to start the half. Portland got the first chance of the half with Alhassan streaking down the wing after a great pass from Marcelin. Alhassan went right around his defender and cut into the center. His cross was low and on the ground and hit the heel of Jeff Parke's heel and into the net. It was a great individual effort by Alhassan to get to the endline and cross the ball.
in the 53rd minute Diego Chara won the ball off his cousin Jhon Hurtado. The ball was swung wide to Rodney Wallace who put a perfect ball into the middle but Perlaza just couldn't get a toe on it. Hurtado actually was subbed after the foul. 2 minutes later Seattle won a free kick when Marcelin brought down Freddy Montero. Montero hit a perfect free kick into the corner of the goal to tie the game up at 1.
After the goal things started to get chippy. Lots of pushing and shoving. In between the hug fest Montero once again found himself behind the defense but Perkins again was equal to the task, coming up with another huge save. After the save things seemed to settle down and both teams had a series of almost chances.
Portland was on the defensive from the 65th minute until the 69th minute when the Colombian connection broke a counter and Perlaza found himself in the box and able to hit a great shot that deflected off of a Seattle player into the far post. It was a great effort by Chara to gather the clearance from the corner and dribble out of pressure to find Perlaza behind the defense.
After the goal again Portland was on the defensive and again it led to a goal by the Sounders. This time Purdy let a ball bouce and that bounce went over his head which allowed the ball to be played back into the box and the ball ended at Montero who then put in the easy ball.
Story of the day is give up red cards and PK's and apparently Eric Brunner felt that he needed to be apart of that story. A ball was played through behind the defense and Eric Brunner seemed to play the ball but took out the player at the same time. The ref saw it differently and called a PK and gave Brunner a red. Alonso stepped up and buried the PK.
After all the effort to go down like that from a another defensive lapse is just killer. Portland showed no quit and continued to try and get numbers forward to get the equalizer. This really opened Portland up and they almost gave up another goal in the 87th minute but again Perkins came up huge to deny a goal.
Even with the 4 minutes of added time Portland could not over come their mistakes and goes down 3-2.
- This was by far the best game for Diego Chara in a Portland Timber kit
- Mamadou "Futty" Danso started well but seemed to fade throughout the game
- Purdy did played well going forward but that was all erased when he let the ball bounce in our defensive box.
- Great Atmosphere too bad most fans went home unhappy