Sebastian Blanco scored in the 86th minute as the host Portland Timbers defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 Sunday afternoon at Providence Park in the historic 100th meeting between the teams.
Samuel Armenteros won a battle for the ball about 30 yards from the Seattle net and quickly fed a through ball down the middle of the field for Blanco, who sneaked behind the Sounders’ five-man defensive line. Blanco chipped the ball over hard-charging Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei and into the net from about eight yards out.
Jeff Attinella made one save for the shutout for the Timbers (4-3-2), who won their fourth straight match.
It was the sixth time the two-time defending Western Conference champion Sounders (2-5-2) were shut out in nine games this season.
The game’s first shot on goal didn’t come until the second half. Sounders defender Nouhou Tolo found himself alone on the left wing after a pass from Cristian Roldan, but his low, 15-yard shot was stopped easily by Attinella.
The TImbers responded with two good chances.
In the 59th minute, DIego Valeri found himself alone in the middle of the 18-yard box after a nifty give-and-go with Fanendo Adi. Valeri took two steps and tried to beat Frei with a left-footed shot, but defender Gustav Svensson came from behind to make a sliding block of the attempt.
In the 68th minute, the TImbers’ Andy Polo unleashed a shot from just inside the penalty area to the far post, with Frei making a diving save.
The Timbers had a free kick from just outside the penalty area in the 84th minute, but Valeri’s cross was headed just wide of the left post by a diving Larrys Mabiala.
The teams first met in 1975 in the old North American Soccer League and also faced each other in the A-League and United Soccer League. The Sounders lead the all-time series 50-36-14, including 9-6-6 in MLS play.
Sounders forward Will Bruin, who had a goal and an assist in a 2-1 victory Wednesday at Toront, didn’t play Sunday because of injury.
—Field Level Media