The Portland Timbers head home today with zero points in hand after falling 2-1 to the Seattle Sounders in a disappointing result. A Jack Jewsbury goal was not enough for the Timbers as the team held the edge in shots by a wide margin but failed to convert their chances.
Things started off poorly and got worse for the Timbers as the team conceded early and late in the first half.
In the early going the Timbers looked disorganized at the back and were made to pay for it in the 6th minute. As the Sounders pressed down the pitch, it looked like the Timbers were in for an easy time as their back line collected the ball off an errant Seattle pass.
However, Sounders newcomer Nelson Valdez did not give up on the play, tackling the ball away from the feet of Nat Borchers inside the Timbers' box and getting it in the vicinity of Obafemi Martins. For there Martins did what Martins does, getting on the ball, fighting off and sidestepping a pair of defenders, and slotting the ball past Adam Kwarasey for the opening goal.
Shaken out of their slow start, the Timbers pressed up the pitch, getting off shot after shot as the half wore on. The Timbers put thirteen shots on goal in the first 45 minutes, only to see Sounders keeper Stefan Frei stand on his head to preserve the clean sheet.
Now looking like the Timbers might have found the measure of the Sounders attack, Martins broke in behind the Portland back line and changed down a ball bouncing in the box in the 42nd minute. With Kwarasey in front of him, Martins touched the ball past the Timbers' keeper before colliding squarely with him. The ball bounced away and out over the end line and referee Alan Kelly pointed to the spot, judging that Kwarasey had fouled Martins.
After a hearty appeal from the Timbers, Sounders captain Brad Evans stepped up to the spot and cooly converted the penalty kick, sending Kwarasey the wrong way as he side-footed the ball into the back of the net.
The second half saw the Timbers pressing forward once again and once again creating the majority of the chances in the match. This time, however, the Timbers were able to get on the board as, in the 58th minute, Alvas Powell charged down the pitch and earned a corner as he tried to turn the corner on Oneil Fisher.
Diego Valeri stepped up and curled a ball into the box, dropping it at the back post where Jewsbury and Liam Ridgewell were waiting, strangely unmarked. It was Jewsbury who got to the ball, leaping in the air and side-footing a bouncing shot past Frei to pull the Timbers back within a goal.
Now back in the game, the Timbers kept up their pressure, throwing numbers down field in an attempt to break the Sounders down. But a second goal was not forthcoming as the Sounder managed to hold on and grind out the rest of the match.
The loss leaves the Timbers in 5th place in the Western Conference, just two points ahead of the now 6th place Sounders. The Timbers' next match is Wednesday the 9th as they host Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park.