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Seattle tops Portland in five-goal thriller

Jul 10, 2011 - 10:32 PM Portland, OR (Sports Network) - The latest installment of the Cascadia Cup did not disappoint Major League Soccer spectators as Seattle Sounders FC defeated the Portland Timbers 3-2 on Sunday afternoon in front of a stunning crowd at Jeld-Wen Field.

It was a timid, defensive display from both sides in the opening half. With bragging rights on the line in the Northwestern derby, every player looked fearful of making a telling mistake.

But the match came to life when play resumed for the second half, and what followed was a sensational five-goal thriller.

Portland notched the opening goal in the 46th minute. Following a brilliant penetrating run into the right side of the box, a low cross played in front of goal was deflected by Sounders defender Jeff Parke and past goalkeeper Kasey Keller, who was left helpless against the own goal.

Seattle responded well, equalizing just nine minutes later. Timbers midfielder James Marcelin was shown a yellow card following a reckless challenge on Seattle designated player Fredy Montero. Montero took the resulting free kick, curling his shot over the wall and inside the post past a diving Troy Perkins. Montero picked up a caution of his own for removing his shirt during the celebration.

Portland went ahead in the 69th minute thanks to a great effort from Jorge Perlaza. Perlaza collected a Diego Chara through ball and his deflected shot sailed over Keller and into the back of the net.

Not to be undone, Seattle pulled level again through some great combination play. A cross to the back post found Mauro Rosales who played a one-time ball back in front of goal. Montero was unmarked and converted the chance to bring his side level. It was Montero's second tally of the match and fifth of the season.

Seattle searched for the winner and eventually found it. Portland's Eric Brunner contested a bouncing ball in the box and brought down Lamar Neagle in the process. A penalty kick was awarded and Brunner was issued a straight red card for denying a goal-scoring opportunity.

Osvaldo Alonso converted the ensuing penalty kick to give Seattle a winner in the 83rd minute.

Seattle (9-4-8) extended its MLS unbeaten streak to eight games and moved into second place in the Western Conference. The Sounders will host the Colorado Rapids on Saturday at CenturyLink Field in their next MLS encounter.

Portland (5-9-3), meanwhile, continued its dwindling home form after looking strong at Jeld-Wen Field early in the season. The Timbers are now 5-4-1 at home. They will travel to Toyota Park to face the Chicago Fire on Saturday.