Match Recap & Highlights: Portland Timbers 0 - 0 Seattle Sounders
The Timbers and Sounders played an ugly one in which neither team looked good, and neither team scored.
The Portland Timbers battled the Seattle Sounders to a 0-0 draw at Lumen Field in Seattle, in what wound up being a cagey and aesthetically rough game of soccer.
Coming off of back-to-back losses, Giovanni Savarese switched up his lineup, slotting in Eric Miller at right back in lieu of usual starter Juan Mosquera and giving Jaroslaw Niezgoda the nod up top.
A choppy and cagey opening to the game gave way to Portland starting to settle into more of a rhythm than their foes, and starting to dictate the flow of play.
For the middle 30-35 minutes of the first half, the Timbers were the better side and came the closest to scoring. Evander was majestic in the midfield, finding runners with perfectly-placed passes on multiple occasions. One of them found Dairon Asprilla on the break, but the Colombian couldn’t get his shot away when he was one-on-one with Stefan Frei. Asprilla also got his head to an Evander corner kick but just put it over.
The Timbers outshot the Sounders 6-2 in the first half, and while they weren’t fantastic by any means, on the balance of the first forty-five minutes on the Lumen Field turf Portland were the better side.
Still, the sides went into halftime knotted at zeroes.
The second half remained largely more of the same, with neither team being able to put together consistent enough stretches to claim full control of the game.
Both teams had moments however, with Asprilla again being found by yet another great ball from Evander and failing to put it in the back of the net, and Leo Chu putting a header just over the bar after a good buildup from Seattle.
In the end, neither team could produce enough quality to find the back of the net, and the game ended in a scoreless draw.
5’ A nervy moment in the back early for the hosts as Moreno and Asprilla almost took the ball off of his foot in Seattle’s box.
7’ Diego Chara is shown the game’s first yellow card for tugging down Lodeiro, who was on the break.
14’ Paredes won the ball for the Timbers and found Evander to spark break, and he in turn found Asprilla streaking in behind on Frei. Dairon just couldn’t get his shot away however and had the ball poked away at the crucial moment.
27’ Asprilla registered Portland’s first shot on target as he hit a shot while falling on the volley. Frei saw it late, but he pounced on it before it got past him.
34’ Asprilla put a header inches over the bar off of a sublime free kick delivery from Evander.
HALFTIME: Sounders 0, Timbers 0. Seattle controlled the bulk of possession, but Portland had the better opportunities, with Asprilla being the closest on two occasions.
54’ Ivacic was called into action for really the first time all game, as he had to be strong leaping off his line to punch a deflected header from a Seattle corner off the line.
57’ Asprilla again had a chance to put it in the back of the net, as an absolutely outrageous ball from Evander found him at the back post. Dairon again couldn’t put the finishing touch on it, as he couldn’t connect with the ball.
63’ Seattle nearly found the net with their best buildup of the day as Portland’s defense was absolutely cut up, but Chu put his header wide and high.
70’ Bravo was shown a yellow csrd after a hard challenge.
76’ Ivacic made his first save of the game as he snagged a shot from Chu from a tight angle.
79’ Paredes was the next to go into the book for a late challenge.
90’+2 Ragen was shown a yellow card for Seattle for clattering into Paredes late.
FULLTIME: Sounders 0, Timbers 0.
The match ended with zeroes on the scoreboard, which was probably a fair result on balance of play.
Well that was… a game of soccer that was played.
One of the ugliest games in this storied rivalry fittingly produced the first regular season scoreless draw between the Timbers and Sounders in the MLS era. Portland’s gone ice cold in the attack, as they’ve scored just one goal in their past four games. They defense looked markedly better than they did last week though, and tallying a clean sheet on the road is a positive sign.
While the Timbers have kept their unbeaten streak against the Sounders alive, and Giovanni Savarese denied Seattle a home win yet again, it’s hard to feel fully happy about the result. The Timbers are still stuck in the mire below the playoff line, and didn’t show many signs that they’re getting out of it anytime soon.
Any time you don’t lose to your rival is a good thing, don’t get me wrong. But you can’t help but wonder if this was a chance missed for Portland to pick up three points in what will likely be a tough battle to rise up the table.
The Timbers will next be in action on Sunday June 11, when they host FC Dallas at 7 p.m. PT.