The anticipated grudge match between the Seattle Sounders and the Portland Timbers delivered as advertised. The game between the Cascadia Rivals actually went above and beyond expectations. The deciding game was more like a heavyweight prize. Yes, visions of Mohammad Ali versus Ken Norton or Joe Frazier were brought into memory.
The teams were deadlocked after regulation, as well as the 30-minute extra time and it was in the penalty shootout that the Timbers were able to move past their rivals and book a ticket to the Western Conference Finals
Portland had a 2-1 aggregate lead going into the match and it was on the Seattle Sounders to take the initiative which they did for the first fifteen minutes of the match.
The Sounders as expected pushed the ball down the flanks with Nohou going gon numerous runabouts. With Nohou and his counterpart fullback, Kelvin Leerdam created space in the middle for Nicolas Lodeiro, Victor Rodriguez, and Harry Shipp.
Unfortunately, the Sounders spent to much time going side to side rather than going forward and the result was a scoreless first half. The first half was a classic case of the Timbers playing rope a dope with the Sounders.
The Sounders delivered the first meaningful in the 67th minute when Raul Ruidiaz right footed shot found the back of the Timbers net for the 1-0 lead.
The Timbers counter punched with what looked out to be the knock out blow ten minutes later when Sebastian Blanco’s right-footed blast tied the game at 1-1 and gave the Timbers the aggregate lead.
Ruidiaz’s right-footed volley gave the home side a 2-1 lead in the game and evened the aggregate score which sent the game into, two fifteen minutes extra session.
The Timbers drew first blood in the first half of extra time with a header that dazed and confused the home side. The Sounders found their strength six minutes later when Nicolas Lodeiro converted a penalty that tied the game at 1-1. The two sides were deadlocked after the two 15 minute extra periods and the epic match went into the dreaded penalty shootout. In the penalty shootout, the teams alternate five penalty attempts and the squad with the most converted penalty kicks win.
The Timbers Lucas Melano, Diego Valerie, Sebastian Blanco, and Dairon Asprilla converted four of their kicks, while Handwalla Bwana and Ruidiaz converted two of Seattle’s five attempts. Will Bruin hit the post and Osvaldo Alonso’s attempt was blocked enabling the Timbers to win the epic game.
Seattle Sounders FC 3 (4) – Portland Timbers 2 (4)
Portland Advances 4-2 via Penalty Kicks
Thursday, November 8, 2018
Venue: Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field
Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistants: Ian B. Anderson, Eduardo Mariscal
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
VAR: Chris Penso
Weather: 43 degrees and mostly clear
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz 68′
POR – Sebastian Blanco (Dairon Asprilla) 78′
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz 90’+3′
POR – Dairon Asprilla (Diego Valeri) 93′
SEA – Nicolas Lodeiro (penalty) 97′
POR – Lucas Melano – scored
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz – scored
POR – Diego Valeri – scored
SEA – Will Bruin – missed
POR – Sebastian Blanco – scored
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso – missed
POR – Liam Ridgewell – saved
SEA – Handwalla Bwana – scored
POR – Dairon Asprilla – scored
POR – Andres Flores (caution) 41′
SEA – Osvaldo Alonso (caution) 70′
POR – Diego Valeri (caution) 96′
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz (caution) 114′
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Kelvin Leerdam (Handwalla Bwana 84′), Kim Kee-hee, Román Torres, Nouhou; Gustav Svensson, Osvaldo Alonso – captain, Harry Shipp (Will Bruin 80′), Nicolás Lodeiro, Víctor Rodríguez (Jordan McCrary EHT); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Bryan Meredith, Alex Roldan, Jordy Delem, Waylon Francis
Total shots: 21 (Ruidíaz, 5)
Shots on goal: 6 (Ruidíaz, 2)
Fouls: 17 (Three players, 3)
Offside: 5 (Ruidíaz, 4)
Corner-kicks: 14 (Lodeiro, 14)
Saves: 4 (Frei, 4)
Portland Timbers – Jeff Attinella; Alvas Powell (Zarek Valentin 103′), Larrys Mabiala, Liam Ridgewell, Jorge Villafaña; Andres Flores (Lawrence Olum 83′), Diego Chara, Andy Polo (Dairon Asprilla 72′), Diego Valeri – captain, Sebastián Blanco; Jeremy Ebobisse (Lucas Melano 89′)
Substitutes not used: Steve Clark, Julio Cascante, Bill Tuiloma
Total shots: 11 (Blanco, 3)
Shots on goal: 6 (Six players, 1)
Fouls: 16 (Chara, 4)
Offside: 1 (Ridgewell, 1)
Corner-kicks: 2 (Valeri, 2)
Saves: 3 (Attinella, 2)