SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers combined for five goals in the second half, but Timbers defender Larrys Mabiala’s 74th-minute header would prove to be the difference, as Seattle fell 3-2 in the Cascadia Cup derby between the sides at CenturyLink Field on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team scored in the first half, but the match took off in a wild second half, starting with Mabiala’s first of the day in the 48th minute. Víctor Rodríguez and Chad Marshall each netted for Seattle, but a goal from Sameul Armenteros and Mabiala’s second finish of the day would ultimately seal the 3-2 final.
The second half was eventful from the get-go after a scoreless opening frame, as the Timbers found their opener just three minutes after kickoff, when Mabila headed home his first corner from Diego Valeri to give Portland the 1-0 lead. Rodríguez leveled just minutes later with a sliding header off a pinpoint feed from Nicolás Lodeiro, but Armenteros scored another go-ahead with a gorgeous finish off a counter to give Portland the 2-1 advantage.
Marshall leveled it again in the 68th, however, heading home a corner from Lodeiro to make it 2-2. But Mabiala struck right back in the 74th with yet another finished header off a corner for the game-winning goal.
SET PIECE WOES
Mabiala showed why he’s a force to be reckoned with on set pieces for Portland, getting three clean opportunities off Timbers corner kicks and finishing off two of them. That was enough to make the difference on Saturday, and Head Coach Brian Schmetzer will certainly be disappointed that a high-stakes derby came down to set-piece lapses.
RODRÍGUEZ ON THE BOARD
It’s been a long road back for Rodríguez, who was held out of action for much of the first part of the season with a knee injury, but the Spaniard was able to check in with his first tally of the season with a nifty headed finish for the Sounders opening goal. Also notable: Lodeiro bagged two more assists with the feed to Rodríguez and the corner kick to Marshall, giving him four in nine games so far this season.
Chad Marshall celebrates after scoring the Sounders second goal of the match at CenturyLink Field / Jane Gershovich
Newly signed Designated Player forward Raul Ruidíaz isn’t eligible to play just yet, but Sounders fans at CenturyLink Field on Saturday got their first look at the club’s shiny new acquisition in a pre-match ceremony where the Peruvian international paraded his No. 9 jersey for the home fans. Ruidíaz’s first match eligible for MLS play will be on Sunday, July 15 in a road matchup against Eastern Conference powerhouse Atlanta United.
POR - Larrys Mabiala (Diego Valeri) 48'
SEA - Víctor Rodríguez (Nicolás Lodeiro) 51'
POR - Samuel Armenteros (Diego Valeri) 57'
SEA - Chad Marshall (Nicolás Lodeiro) 68'
POR - Larrys Mabiala (Diego Valeri) 74'
SEA - Nouhou Tolo (Unsporting Behavior) 85'
POR - Zarek Valentin (Unsporting Behavior) 87'
SEA - Clint Dempsey (Unsporting Behavior) 89'
SEA - Kim Kee-hee (Unsporting Behavior) 90'