The Portland Timbers defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in the first of two legs in the Western Conference Semifinals Sunday afternoon at Providence Park.
Seattle took an early 1-0 lead with a 10th minute goal by Raul Ruidiaz, but first half goals by Jeremy Ebobisse (17th minute) and Sebastian Blanco (29th minute) but Portland in front before the halftime break. Neither team scored in the second forty-five minutes, and the result held for the home side.
The second leg comes Thursday night in Seattle at Century Link Field.
Per MLS Stats, 59% of teams that have won the first leg of the two-leg aggregate format have gone on to advance.
The Timbers will try to do exactly that with a positive result this Thursday night at Century Link Field in Seattle. Pregame at 6:30pm, kickoff at 7:30pm on 1029FM/750AM and online at 1029TheGame.com. Plus tune in Wednesday from 6-8pm for the weekly Talk Timbers show.
Things started poorly for the home side, with Seattle going out in front with a 10th minute goal courtesy Raul Ruidiaz, assisted by Cristain Roldan:
Just seven minutes later, the Timbers equalized thanks to a three-touch counter-attack, finished by the young 21-year-old Jeremy Ebobisse:
The momentum blossomed into a second goal for the home side in the 29th minute, as Diego Valeri pushed forward an attack that came to the feet of Sebastian Blanco, and the rest was history:
The first half dragged on with an added seven minutes, due to crucial injuries to Sounders leaders Cristian Roldan and defender Chad Marshall, who was carted off late in the half. Andy Polo had a good look before the first half whistle sounded:
The Timbers went into the locker room with the 2-1 halftime advantage and Seattle nursing some tough injuries, having already used two of their three substitutes.
Seattle would not quit, though, with a chance early in the half after a giveaway:
It was a busy second half for Attinella, who had to sacrifice his body a moment later:
In the 79th minute, the Timbers apparently put another across for a 3-1 advantage, but it was properly called back:
That third Timbers goal remained elusive despite this breakaway in the 82nd minute:
Diego Valeri had a tasty chance to make it 3-1 yet again in the 89th minute, but sent it over the bar:
Just a few seconds later, Seattle had a chance to turn momentum on its head with an equalizer, but Attinella stood tall:
In the end, neither team could score in the second half, and the halftime score stood as the final result, Timbers 2-1 over Seattle in the opening leg.
Diego Valeri joined the ESPN Television crew, with his daughter, after the match:
Head Coach Giovanni Savarese had a simple perspective about the result from leg one:
Liam Ridgewell joined Jake Zivin in the locker room:
Diego Valeri talked about the result in the locker room:
And the 21-year-older goal-scorer Jeremy Ebobisse offered his thoughts on the win: