HIGHLIGHTS: Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders FC | May 09, 2021
Bill Tuiloma scored a stunning free kick just before the final whistle for Portland's lone goal, but it wasn't quite enough to allow the Timbers to complete the comeback and salvage the point.
After a scoreless first half, the match turned in a wild sequence that started 10 minutes after second-half kickoff, as the Timbers had a golden opportunity to take the lead when Jeremy Ebobisse won a penalty kick after Shane O'Neill was called for a foul in his own box by referee Chris Penso. Diego Valeri had his first attempt saved by Stefan Frei, but was awarded a retake after the Seattle goalkeeper was ruled to have come off his line too early. But the retake wouldn't be converted either, as Valeri's follow-up effort glanced off the post without Frei touching it, meaning his rebound finish didn't count.
The visitors then found the opener after Penso awarded Seattle a penalty kick of their own just minutes later, when Timbers goalkeeper Jeff Attinella was called for a foul on Ruidiaz right in front of his own goal. The Peruvian striker sent Attinella the wrong way and slotted home his look from the spot in the 63rd minute, staking Seattle to a 1-0 lead in a stunning turn of events.
Montero would then add what turned out to be the game-winner in the 79th, getting on the end of a free kick whipped in by Joao Paulo and cashing home a thundering header past Timbers substitute goalkeeper Hunter Sulte, who had to come on after Attinella had to go off with an injury in the 68th minute.
Tuiloma made it interesting late, cutting the lead in half in spectacular fashion with a highlight-reel free kick in second-half stoppage time that gave no chance to a diving Frei. But the Sounders managed to see out the final two minutes, allowing them to leave Providence with all three points.
- THE BIG PICTURE: It wasn't as high-octane in the first half as we're used to seeing in this rivalry, but it really picked up in the second, starting with the sequence that ended with Valeri's missed PK. In the end, it's three points on the road for the Sounders in Round One, as they continue their blistering start to the season. The Rave Green are atop the Supporters' Shield standings with 10 points from their first four matches. It's a frustrating one for Portland, who did well to bottle up Seattle's attack in the first half, especially playing with heavy legs amid fixture congestion coming off their Concacaf Champions League exit. It all sets up for what should an entertaining rematch when the sides meet next on August 15.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: You pretty much never see Valeri miss from the spot once, let alone twice. The whole match was flipped on its head following this look that was agonizingly close to the opener, but was denied by the post.
PK MISS: Diego Valeri, Portland Timbers - 59th minute
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Ruidiaz is flying to start the season for Seattle, as the opener gave him five goals through his team's first four games. He gets the honors for drawing the PK that allowed him to convert the finish for the Sounders' crucial first goal.
- POR: Saturday, May 15 at San Jose Earthquakes | 10 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)
- SEA: Wednesday, May 12 at San Jose Earthquakes | 10:30 pm ET (MLS LIVE on ESPN+)