|11' - Seattle: Zach Kingsley (Jason Farrell)|
|38' - Seattle: Darren Sawatzky (Brian Ching)|
The Timbers and the Sounders both had about five good chances to score in their match at PGE Park on Saturday night, but only the Sounders were able to find the back of the net as the Sounders shut out the Timbers 2-0 in front of an opening night crowd of 8.775. Zach Kingsley and former Timber Darren Sawatzky were the Sounders goal-scorers as Preston Burpo had the clean sheet.
The Sounders took control of the match early, controlling the ball for the first few minutes. The Sounders put an early shot on goal, but from way outside that Timbers goalkeeper Matt Napoleon easily smothered. In the 5th minute, a Keith Costigan cross to Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar opened up a good scoring chance for the Timbers, but Alcaraz-Cuellar's shot went directly at Sounders goalkeeper Preston Burpo. Five minutes later, McKinley Tennson got his head on a Costigan cross, but his shot from 15 yards out went just wide.
But just one minute later, the Sounders took advantage of their first good scoring chance. After the Timbers failed to clear a cross, the ball rebounded out to Jason Farrell, who hit a hard low shot towards the far corner that was going to go wide, until midfielder Zach Kingsley stuck his toe out and gave it just enough of a deflection to steer it into the net, and the Sounders were up 1-0.
The Timbers appeared ready to tie the score just one minute later when a long Ben Somoza throw into the box was headed by Chugger Adair towards the top right corner, where the shot hit the crossbar and came straight down. But the Sounders defense recovered as were able to clear the ball before the Timbers could get to the rebound.
The Timbers were controlling the momentum of the game now, and five minutes later, they were once again threatening when, off a Sean McAuley free kick, Tennyson had another good chance, but his shot was just over the bar from 8 yards out.
In the 20th minute, after a bad trap by the Sounders 30 yards out from their goal, Somoza swiped the ball and hit a hard low shot, that curled just wide left.
The Timbers still were controlling most of the run of play, but neither team made another serious scoring chance until the 36th minute. Tennyson ran a give and go with Brent Sancho and managed to push diagonally into the box to about 8 yards out, but his shot went into the outside of the goal netting on the right side. The Timbers seemed to sense that they were getting closer to finding the equalizer as they were pushing further forward, but this would cost them in the 38th minute. Sounders forwards Darren Sawatzky and Brian Ching ran a perfect give and go which allowed Sawatzky to slip in behind the Timbers defense and went in alone on Napoleon. Sawatzky pulled Napoleon out and was able to move around to the left side, and easily tapped into an open net to put the Sounders up 2-0, which would be the score at half.
As the second half opened, the Sounders grabbed the early momentum, and nearly added a third goal in the 46th minute when Leighton O'Brien rattled a shot off the left post from 15 yards out, that rebounded back off Napoleon before trickling out over the endline. In the next five minutes, the Timbers had a few good chances on long shots, first by Brian Winters, then by Alcaraz-Cuellar, but the first shot went wide left while the second was saved by Burpo.
By thie time, the Sounders were protecting their lead, and had falled back from a 4-4-2 into a 6-2-2 which was shutting down the Timbers before they could push any players forward. In the 67th minute, Ching had a hard shot from inside the box that Napoleon saved with a diving save to his right. Ching had the next good scoring chance when his hard shot from 25 yards out when just over the bar.
The Timbers were pushing forward and were leaving themselves open for more Sounders counterattacks. In the 81st minute, O'Brien was able to get off a hard shot from near the top of the box that trickled just wide left. The Timbers had perhaps their best chance of the second half when an Alcaraz-Cuellar cross into the box went right to the foot of Adair, but his shot had no pace and was easily collected by Burpo. The Timbers had their last good chance of the night when in the 90th minute, Adair headed a Costigan cross over the bar from 10 yards out. But the Timbers never did break through, despite having as many chances as the Sounders, and the visitors win the first leg of the I-5 home and home by a score of 2-0.