SEATTLE – Brian Fernández struck a brace, negating a second-half equalizer from Raúl Ruidíaz and sending the Seattle Sounders to a 2-1 defeat in their Cascadia Cup derby against the Portland Timbers at CenturyLink Field on Sunday.
Fernández netted in the 20th and 51st minute for the visitors, continuing his torrid pace since signing with the Seattle’s rivals to the South earlier this season. Ruidíaz scored an equalizing tally in the 50th – the eighth goal of the season for the Peruvian striker.
The Timbers found the opener 20 minutes into the contest after defender Jorge Moreira rung the crossbar with a laser shot from distance that deflected directly to the feet of Fernández. With Stefan Frei off his line, the newly signed Designated Player was able to slot the finish into an open net, giving the visitors the 1-0 lead that would hold into the halftime break.
Ruidíaz leveled in the 50th after he was able to chase down a long feed from Román Torres, round Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark and slot an open-net finish of his own into the goal, equalizing the contest at 1-1.
The match wouldn’t stay level for long, however, as Fernández completed his brace just after the restart to put the Timbers up 2-1, which would stand as the final score.
Ruidíaz scored his eighth goal of the season on Sunday night | Jane Gershovich
Portland’s shiny new acquisition has been demolishing MLS defenses since his arrival in May, with six goals in six starts coming into the contest – a total he added to with Sunday’s brace. In a rivalry that has featured its share of star strikers on both sides throughout its long history, the Argentine looks to be a worthy addition to the group. Expect Fernández vs. Ruidíaz to be must-see viewing for years to come.
RUIDÍAZ SCORES AGAIN
As hot as Fernández has been for the Timbers lately – and he’s been plenty hot – Ruidíaz has a case of his own when it comes to the league’s most in-form striker at the moment. Sunday’s tally was Ruidíaz’s eighth of the season in 10 starts and his second straight game with a goal since returning from international duty with Peru at the 2019 Copa América after his highlight-reel golazo against Atlanta United last weekend.
CHIPPY AS EVER
These matches are always high-intensity affairs with no love lost between the sides and Sunday’s contest was no different. The play was physical, trash was talked, the crowd was rowdy as ever and there was even a postgame scuffle that broke out at midfield following the final whistle. Overall, it should make for some interesting storylines during the next matchup between the clubs, which will take place at Providence Park in Portland on August 23.