The Portland Timbers pulled off an emphatic 3-0 win against arch-rivals Seattle Sounders at Lumen Field on Saturday afternoon.
Heading to Seattle in improved form and creeping into the Playoff picture, the Timbers are now five games unbeaten, taking 11 points during that time, with this result the sweetest of the lot.
Jaroslaw Niezgoda got things going in the 24th minute, heading the ball home at the far post after being perfectly picked out by Sebastian Blanco – the Polish striker’s fifth goal in his last six MLS outings.
The Sounders pushed for an equalizer from there but Aljaz Ivacic was in excellent form between the sticks for Portland. Things were made even more difficult for the hosts when Jackson Ragen was given a second yellow card for a ridiculous late challenge on Eryk Williamson.
It took until the final 10 minutes for Portland to make their numerical advantage count, with Santiago Moreno converting a penalty given for a Nouhou Tolo handball in the 82nd, while Dairon Asprilla finished a flowing Timbers counter-attack in the 85th.
It’s the fourth time in a row this rivalry has been won by the away side, but how did it all pan out?
Read on for full player ratings:
GK: Stefan Frei – 5/10 – Made a couple of decent saves to keep the score down. Could do little about the goals.
RB: Alex Roldan – 5/10 – Couldn’t find his mark with his crossing and was given a tough time by some clever Timbers movement.
CB: Yeimar Gomez – 3/10 – Lost sight of Niezgoda for the opening goal, a theme that repeated itself throughout the match.
CB: Jackson Ragen – 2/10 – His yellow card at the end of the first half was harsh, but what was Ragen thinking flying into a challenge on Williamson right after the break? Ridiculous second yellow to pick up that left his side right up against it.
LB: Nouhou Tolo – 4/10 – Offered little in attack and conceded the penalty that finished the match.
CM: Kelyn Rowe – 5/10 – Worked hard, especially once Ragen was sent off, but didn’t offer enough in attack for Seattle.
CM: Albert Rusnak – 6/10 – Had some dangerous moments in the first half but faded fast after the break.
RW: Cristian Roldan – 7/10 – One of Seattle’s more dangerous outlets, never stopped trying to create.
CAM: Nico Lodeiro – 6/10 – Forced a couple of openings but wasn’t as decisive as usual.
LW: Jordan Morris – 6/10 – One of the few Sounders players to keep his composure in attacking moments but needed help.
ST: Raul Ruidiaz – 5/10 – Came close with an effort off the post but didn’t see enough of the ball overall.
SUB: Josh Atencio (64′, for Rowe) – 5/10 – Failed to adjust to the pace of the game.
SUB: Jimmy Medranda (75′, for Rusnak) – 5/10 – Barely got involved.
SUB: Will Bruin (81′, for Ruidiaz) – 5/10 – Not enough time to change the game.
SUB: Leo Chu (81′, for A. Roldan) – 5/10 – As above.
GK: Aljaz Ivacic – 8/10 – Came up with a couple of big saves to preserve the clean sheet.
RB: Josecarlos Van Rankin – 5/10 – Was the weak link in Portland’s defense, lucky not to concede a penalty in the first half.
CB: Larrys Mabiala – 8/10 – Got through a lot of defensive work, keeping it simple but effective.
CB: Dario Zuparic – 7/10 – Looked solid next to Mabiala.
LB: Claudio Bravo – 8/10 – One of the most effective tackling machines in MLS. Barely anything got past him.
CM: Diego Chara – 8/10 – Clean on the ball and typically destructive without it.
CM: Eryk Williamson – 8/10 – Played a big part in the opening goal with some clever passing and drew the second yellow card from Ragen. Fought hard without the ball throughout.
RW: Santiago Moreno – 7/10 – Came alive in the final 10 minutes with a penalty goal and the pre-assist for Asprilla’s strike.
CAM: Sebastian Blanco – 8/10 – Provided the assist for Niezgoda with a perfect cross to the far post. Vintage Blanco.
LW: Yimmi Chara – 7/10 – Played a key part in the first goal but was kept relatively quiet otherwise.
ST: Jaroslaw Niezgoda – 9/10 – Scored his fifth goal in his last six MLS appearances and got the better of the Sounders center-backs throughout. Assisted Asprilla’s clincher.
SUB: Cristhian Paredes (63′, for Williamson) – 6/10 – Helped shut down the midfield.
SUB: Dairon Asprilla (74′, for Blanco) – 7/10 – A goal from the bench. What more can you ask for?
SUB: Marvin Loria (75′, for Y. Chara) – 6/10 – Drove the ball forward well against a tiring Sounders defense.
SUB: Felipe Mora (90′, for Niezgoda) – N/A – Brought on right at the end.
SUB: Bill Tuiloma (90′, for ) – N/A – As above.