Green smoke bombs were let loose early by the Timbers Army in the stands, as the home team put up two goals in the first third of the match, then held off a furious rally by the Sounders to come away with a 2-1 win, only their fourth of the season. The 3 points lifted the Timbers out of the Western Conference basement, 2 points above FC Dallas.
Kris Boyd opened the scoring in the 16th minute, catching Seattle with their pants down. Steven Smith sped up the left flank and slipped behind the defense to receive the ball, crossing it into the center of the penalty area, where Boyd was completely unmarked. He finished it home from point blank range for the 1-0 lead.
Ten minutes later, Boyd nearly notched a brace with a scorching header that was just tipped over the bar by Seattle’s keeper, Andrew Weber. No bother. On the ensuing corner kick, Franck Songo’o crossed in to David Horst, who headed it behind the line.
Seattle would rally, though, storming back to regain the possession battle through the second third of the match, nearly getting on the board off a corner kick in the 35th, and again just before the half when an Osvaldo Alonso strike was just tipped over the bar.
Seattle could feel the momentum moving their way, and it was just a matter of time before they scored. In the 58th minute, after the Sounders won the ball in the middle of the field, Eddie Johnson latched onto it along the right flank and raced into the box. Then he pulled up, cut it back, and with his left foot launched it straight toward goal, sinking into the far corner to cut the lead in half for the Sounders.
The intensity built throughout the final third of the match, with the Sounders continuing to dominate, looking for that equalizer, though neither team could manage to find the back of the net.
The sparks finally lit up in stoppage time when an argument between Horst and Johnson blew up into a full-on fight, with Seattle’s Fredy Montero shoving Horst, and Portland’s Lovel Palmer firing back with an elbow at Johnson. Both Palmer and Montero were sent off with red cards.
With over six minutes of stoppage time, Seattle didn’t slow down and the game came down to a Sounders corner kick saved in the final minute.
With Vancouver’s loss to the L.A. Galaxy Saturday, the Sounders remain tied with the Whitecaps for third in the Western Conference standings, behind San Jose and Salt Lake.