Timbers prevail in an epic shootout with Sounders

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.

Players looking for the ball
Players awaiting the ball inside the box. ( Cascadiasports.net)

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.

IMG_0547
Captains meet before shootout. (Cascadisports.net)

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.

 

MATCH SUMMARY 

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

Attendance: 39,542

Weather: 43 degrees and mostly clear

SCORING SUMMARY

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′

 

SHOOTOUT SUMMARY

 

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

MISCONDUCT SUMMARY

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)

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