A late strike from Felipe Mora gave the Portland Timbers a 2-1 road victory against the Seattle Sounders on Sunday night, snapping their three-game winless streak after being crowned MLS is Back Tournament champions.
Mora latched onto an Eryk Williamson through ball in the 83rd minute, carefully toeing the offside line before finishing to make it 2-1. It was the Chilean forward’s third goal in as many games.
Williamson powered Portland to an early lead in the 9th minute, making it 1-0 with his first MLS goal. He combined beautifully with Diego Valeri atop the 18-yard box, then tucked past Stefan Frei upon collecting a cleared cross.
But Seattle created plenty of chances, and they found an equalizer in the 42nd minute via right back Kelvin Leerdam. He rifled home a one-time volley, giving the Dutchman his second goal against their Cascadia rivals after tallying in a 3-0 win over Portland back on Aug. 23.
Portland gutted out the victory, even though they lost two stalwarts to injury. Sebastian Blanco, the MLS is Back Tournament MVP, was subbed out in the 5th minute after suffering a right knee injury during an awkward sequence with Seattle midfielder Joao Paulo. Center back Larrys Mabiala was then withdrawn at halftime with a right thigh injury, forcing the Timbers to dig deep.
- THE BIG PICTURE: Portland won the MLS is Back Tournament less than a month ago, but hadn’t returned to the win column in three prior attempts (0-2-1). That changed Sunday, and they exacted some revenge for a 3-0 beatdown by Seattle two weeks ago at Providence Park. As for the Sounders, their three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1 prior) came to a close. The likes of Raul Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris were held off the scoresheet, too.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Sebastian Blanco went down injured in the 2nd minute, then was withdrawn shortly thereafter for Marvin Loria. The Argentine playmaker suffered a right knee injury, and his long-term status will be closely tracked given the team-wide implications.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: Eryk Williamson burst onto the scene at the MLS is Back Tournament, and he carried that red-hot form into Sunday’s encounter against Seattle. His opening strike was superbly taken, and then he expertly slipped Felipe Mora through for the game-winner in the 83rd minute.