The Portland Timbers gutted the Seattle Sounders 3-0 Saturday afternoon at Lumen Field. The three-goal margin sets the record for the largest margin of victory that the Timbers have had in Seattle in their time in the MLS. Portland has now earned at least one point in their last five games. Three of those games have been wins, two of which came at home at Providence Park. Coming into their matchup against the Sounders, Portland hadn’t won an away game this season since their 3-2 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on April 9th.
In the first half, Seattle was swarming Portland and creating opportunities. Seattle would end the game with 56.8% time of possession. The vast majority of that time came in the first half. One of their first major chances came in the 16th minute. Jordan Morris would feed a pass inside the box to Nicolás Lodeiro, who would be denied by Aljaz Ivacic.
Portland would find their footing in the 24th minute of action. Some great passing through the midfield would set up Sebastián Blanco with space. Then, from the corner of the box, Blanco would find Jaroslaw Niezgoda at the far post for his seventh goal of the year.
Seattle would look to strike back late in the half. At the 38th minute, Seattle thought they would have a penalty shot due to a sliding challenge inside the box, but no call was made. Then, in the 45th minute, a Seattle corner kick would give Raúl Ruidíaz an opportunity from just in front of the penalty shot dot. Ruidíaz shot would ring off the post, and the Timbers would escape the half with a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Seattle would get off to a rough start. Just 20 seconds into the half, Jackson Ragen would earn a red card (2nd yellow). With the Sounders now a man down, the Timbers were eager to find another goal. At the 49th minute, Blanco and Niezgoda would combine on a give-and-go pass play at the top of the box to create a chance. Seattle goalkeeper, Stefan Frei, would get his head in front of the ball to keep the Sounders in the game.
The turning point of the match came in the 79th minute. After a defensive stand from Portland, the Timbers’ counterattack would be shut down by Seattle defender Nouhou. Unfortunately for Seattle, Nouhou would be called for a hand ball inside the box upon replay review. Santiago Moreno would take the penalty shot, and sneak the ball just inside the left post to give Portland a two-goal lead.
Portland would put in the dagger in the 85th minute. After a Seattle corner kick, the Timbers were able to break out and move down the field with numbers. Moreno would find Niezgoda inside the box on a stretch pass. Then, Niezgoda would pass to a wide-open Dairon Asprilla for Asprilla’s fourth goal of the year, securing a 3-0 Portland victory.
The Timbers return home for their next match on June 17th for a duel against their other Cascadia rival, the Vancouver Whitecaps.