The Timbers started out in a 4-2-3-1 in this one, slotting Jaroslaw Niezgoda into the number nine spot. Jeremy Ebobisse moved back to the wing, while Yimmi Chara played the opposite wing.
Portland did not wait long to try and get a good look. The Timbers earned the corner after a miscommunication from Seattle led to the set piece. Diego Valeri sailed the corner kick perfectly to Niezgoda, but the header from the Polish striker was just above the goal.
Seattle has been potent offensively since the restart, and their efficiency on that end showed. Led by Jordan Morris, the Sounders attacked the goal relentlessly, earning four corner kicks in just the first 10 minutes. They were getting plenty of opportunities, but they just weren’t translating into goals.
Portland broke the scoring seal in the 13th minute. Ebobisse got the ball in the open field sent it perfectly to a sprinting Yimmi Chara. Chara was able to get just ahead of the Seattle defender to launch the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net, scoring his third goal in three games. It’s the second time a Timbers player scored in three games over the span of only 10 days. The first player to do so? Felipe Mora earlier this season. Timbers led 1-0.
Even though the Timbers led early, it was anything but easy containing Seattle. There were a handful of scary moments for Portland, including a missed opportunity from Raul Ruidiaz in the 27th minute where his chip shot went wide left of the empty goal. They would go into the half with 11 shots to Portland’s six.
The Timbers still had their dangerous moments, even if they weren’t quite as plentiful. Portland did have a pair of chances towards the end of the match, with Diego Valeri’s shot going just over the goal and Bonilla’s follow-up out of the corner also going high. They might not have capitalized on those opportunities, but they still led 1-0 going into halftime.
The second half started, and Seattle didn’t come out firing like they did in the first. Portland seemed to settle a little deeper into the box and made it more difficult for Seattle to get an easy shot. Seattle only had one shot opportunity in the first 15 minutes of the half as opposed to the many chances they had early on in the first.
VAR came into play in the 55’ minute when Pablo Bonilla went down after taking a kick to the back of the leg from Ruidiaz. Referee Allen Chapman originally issued Bonilla a yellow card before going to check the replay. In a somewhat surprising move, Chapman did not issue Ruidiaz a red card and instead showed him a yellow.
A scary moment for the Timbers occurred when Jeremy Ebobisse went down with an apparent leg injury. He was helped off the field, and Andy Polo came on to take his place. Marvin Loria also subbed on for Yimmi Chara.
After starting off a little slow, Seattle started to fire off again, but once again no one could finish. It was the perfect combination of Steve Clark saves (he had six tonight) and off-target shots. Meanwhile, Portland struggled to get any shots off, controlling the ball not quite as well as they should have. After getting six shot attempts in the first half, the Timbers only had three in the second, most of the quality shots coming late. In the end, all that mattered was Chara’s early goal, as the Timbers earned three points and a victory over the fishing village up north. Portland won 1-0.
Up next the Timbers will face off against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Match is set for Sunday at 7 p.m.