SEATTLE – The Portland Timbers received a goal in each half from Brian Fernandez and extended their unbeaten streak in all competitions to six games with a 2-1 win on the road against Seattle Sounders FC in front of 50,072 fans at CenturyLink Field on Sunday night.
On the road, again
With the win, Portland (8-8-4, 28pts) recorded its eighth win in its last 12 road games across all competitions. It also marked the Timbers’ sixth win on the road in MLS play. The team’s six road wins is tied for the most road wins in the league this season and are also the most by the club in a single season since 2015. Additionally, Portland has earned 20 points on the road, which is the third-most road points the team has earned in an MLS season.
The Timbers earned their second consecutive win in all competitions against Seattle this season, after previously recording a 2-1 win in Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play on June 12. The win snapped a 13-game, regular-season home unbeaten streak for Sounders FC, as Portland handed Seattle its first loss at CenturyLink Field since Sept. 19, 2018. Portland has won three of the last four regular-season meetings in MLS play, including consecutive matches at CenturyLink Field for the first time in the club’s MLS era.
Fernandez recorded his third brace with the Timbers in all competitions, and his second brace in MLS play. Fernandez has now scored a team-leading eight goals in nine MLS games. In all competitions, Fernandez has scored 11 goals in 12 matches. Notably, Fernandez has delivered braces in both his matches against Seattle in all competitions, becoming the third Timbers player across all eras with more than one brace against Sounders FC.
In the opening minute, Seattle’s Nicolás Lodeiro stole the ball in the Timbers half of the field and played a quick pass to Raúl Ruidíaz running into space. Ruidíaz dribbled into the box and found himself one-on-one with Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark, who came off his line quickly to make the save on Ruidiaz’s shot from the right edge of the six-yard box.
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On the counter-attack, Diego Valeri played the ball to Jeremy Ebobisse running down the left side of the field. Ebobisse dribbled to the edge of the box and fired a low, hard shot toward the bottom left corner of the goal, forcing a save by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei in the ninth minute.
In the 18th minute the Timbers generated consecutive chances on a corner kick. Valeri served the ball into the center of the box and Julio Cascante delivered a snap header on frame, but Frei made a diving stop at the left post. Ebobisse pounced on the loose ball, firing a shot from close range, but it went just wide of the post.
Remaining on the front foot, Cristhian Paredes quickly switched the point of attack, playing the ball out wide on the right side to Jorge Moreira, who cut back toward the middle of the box and unleashed a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar. Fernandez tracked the ball and converted the rebound in the 20th minute to give the Timbers a 1-0 lead.
Lodeiro delivered a free kick from the right wing in the 40th minute. Gustav Svensson got a touch with a header, re-directing the ball on target and Clark jumped to tip the ball over the crossbar.
Seattle tied the match at 1-1 in the 50th minute. Roman Torres played a long ball over the top for Ruidíaz, who waited as the ball skimmed off a Timbers player and dribbled around Clark before converting into an open net.
Just one minute later, the Timbers reclaimed the lead at 2-1 as Fernandez tallied his second goal of the game. Valeri played the ball to Sebastián Blanco out wide on the right side and he played a curling pass into the box for Fernandez, who finished in stride from close range.