SEATTLE (AP) — Sebastián Blanco scored his second goal of the season off a sloppy turnover early in the second half, Felipe Mora scored late in second-half stoppage time and the Portland Timbers beat the Seattle Sounders 2-0 on Sunday night.
The Timbers avenged one of the worst loses in franchise history two weeks ago in Portland when the Sounders scored six times in a 6-2 dismantling.
The Timbers were pressured the entire second half and had limited scoring chances on their end. But a combination of resolute defending and a bit of good fortune gave the Timbers a needed three points in their attempt to climb back up the Western Conference standings.
The Timbers (8-10-3) are unbeaten in their last six MLS matches against the Sounders in Seattle.
Blanco’s goal came in the 58th minute and the result of a terrible back-pass by Seattle defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade. His pass for goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland was too soft and Portland’s Felipe Mora was able to get to it before Cleveland. With the Seattle goal open, Mora centered a pass to Blanco for the easy goal.
Mora’s goal came with Seattle (12-4-6) pressing for an equalizer and Cleveland caught out of his net.
Getting the win meant Portland had to withstand a flurry of attempts from Seattle in the final 35 minutes. Shane O’Neill had a header off the post. João Paulo, who earlier in the second half had a volley hit the crossbar, had another shot from distance punched away at the last second by Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark.
Cristian Roldan rattled the crossbar again in the 85th minute with a header and Clark made a lunging fingertip save of Raúl Ruidíaz’s attempt a minute later. Despite having 16 total shots and five on target, the Sounders failed to beat Clark.
It was Seattle’s first loss since a 1-0 home defeat to San Jose on July 31.
The Cascadia showdown was the backend of a doubleheader featuring the MLS and WSL teams from the two cities. Earlier in the day, the OL Regin beat the Portland Thorns 2-1 behind two goals from Megan Rapinoe before the largest single-game crowd in NWSL history with 27,248 in attendance.
Nearly 20,000 more showed up for the nightcap, Seattle’s largest crowd since the 2019 MLS Cup.
Portland lost talented young midfielder Eryk Williamson to a ugly looking left leg injury 10 minutes into the match. Williamson’s leg buckled awkwardly as he planted his foot and immediately went down in pain. Williamson appeared in four matches for the United States during the Gold Cup.