Blanco late goal gives Timbers 1-0 victory over Sounders

Sundays 100 darby match between the Seattle Sounders( 2-5-2, 8 points) and Portland Timbers(4-3-2, 14 points) was what one would expect in the storied rivalry. A tough, physical game with neither side willing to concede a blade of grass, ball possession and heaven forbid a goal. Such is the way with darby matches, you throw out records, no concern for what players are not participating and focus on who is on the pitch when the whistle blows to start the game.

Just for relatedness sake, it’s fair to mention that the Sounders were without Will Bruin Nicolas Lodeiro and Osvaldo Alonso. The Sounders did have a well-rested Clint Dempsey on hand. The Timbers were on a three-game winning streak and looking to make it four in a row at the expense of their hated rivals.

Kim playing defense on Adi
Kim and Adi mix it up in front of the box. ( Cascadiasports.net)

Despite missing a good chunk of their midfield in Alonso and Lodeiro the Sounders the Sounders won the ball possession in the second half after conceding the ball possession in the first. The ball possession battle between the two rivals was razor thin. The Timbers ended the game with a 51.8% advantage compared to the Sounders 49.3%.

While each team had long possession spells with the ball, the two rivals struggled when creating shots. The Sounders managed just one shot on goal, while the Timbers had just two shots on goal both in the second half Seattle’s five-man backline looked to have worked for a second consecutive game. Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer used a five-man backline in the teams 2-1 Wednesday night win at Toronto FC.

Unfortunately for Schmetzer, the injury bug reared its ugly head with a devastating bite that forced two changes to Seattle’s back line in a twelve-minute span. Fullback Nouhou was replaced by Jordan McCrary in the 59th and Kim Kee-Hee was replaced by Handwalla Bwana. No official announcement has been made regarding the injuries to the players.

With a depleted backline than lacked communication, it was just a  matter of time before the Timbers were able to unlock Seattle’s defense by flooding the heart of the Sounder defense with players.

Leerdam makes a move
Sounders Kelvin Leerdam makes a move up field with the ball. ( SoundersFC)

Portland came to scoring in the 83rd minute when defender Larrys Mabiala got on the end of a Diego Valeri free kick, nodding the ball just wide of the far post. Portland broke the deadlock three minutes later when a well-placed through ball from Samuel  Armenteros slipped  Sebastian Blanco in behind the Seattle defense, with the midfielder cleverly chipping the ball over Frei, who was charging off his line to close down the angle.

GAME NOTES
Sunday’s match signified the 100th meeting between Portland and Seattle across all competitions, dating back to 1975.
With Sundays  1-0 win the Timbers are now unbeaten in their last five home games (4-0-1) against Sounders FC, dating back to Aug. 24, 2014.
After playing three games in eight days the Sounders will get a much-needed bye week to lick their wounds. The Rave Green return to MLS action on Saturday, May 26 in the first of back-to-back matchups against Western Conference rival Real Salt Lake.
Kickoff at CenturyLink Field is slated for 2:00 p.m. PT, with JOEtv, YouTubeTV, 950 KJR AM and El Rey 1360 AM providing coverage of the contest.
One week later, Seattle travels to the Wasatch Front, facing RSL on the road on Saturday, June 2.
MATCH SUMMARY
 
Seattle Sounders FC 0 – Portland Timbers 1
Sunday, May 13, 2018
 
Venue: Providence Park
Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistants: Jason White, Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Attendance: 21,144
Weather: Clear and 81 degrees
 
SCORING SUMMARY
SEA – Sebastian Blanco (Samuel Armenteros) 86′
 
MISCONDUCT SUMMARY
 
SEA – Jordy Delem (caution) 34′
POR  Liam Ridgewell (caution) 44′
SEA  Alex Roldan (caution) 76′
SEA – Henry Wingo (caution) 82′
POR  Sebastian Blanco (caution) 90’+6′
 
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam, Kim Kee-hee (Handwalla Bwana 71′), Chad Marshall, Gustav Svensson, Nouhou (Jordan McCrary 60′); Magnus Wolff Eikrem (Henry Wingo 78′), Cristian Roldan – captain, Jordy Delem, Alex Roldan; Clint Dempsey
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Tony Alfaro, Harry Shipp, Lamar Neagle
Total shots: 5 (Nouhou, 3)
Shots on goal: 1 (Nouhou, 1)
Fouls: 6 (A. Roldan, 2)
Offside: 1 (Dempsey, 1)
Corner-kicks: 6 (Wolff Eikrem, 4)
Saves: 1 (Frei, 1)
                               
Portland Timbers – Jeff Attinella; Alvas Powell (Dairon Asprilla 86′), Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell, Zarek Valentine; Cristhian Paredes (Andres Flores 77′), Diego Chara, Andy Polo, Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco; Fanendo Adi (Samuel Armenteros 77′)
Substitutes not used: Jake Gleeson, Julio Cascante, Marco Farfand, Lawrence Olum
Total shots: 10 (Polo/Valeri, 3)
Shots on goal: 2 (Polo/Valeri, 1)
Fouls: 6 (Valeri, 2)
Offside: 4 (Valeri, 2)
Corner-kicks: 5 (Valeri, 5)
Saves: 1 (Attinella, 1)

 

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