2005 Sep 16

Playoffs, quarterfinals, first leg:
Portland Timbers  0 - 1  Seattle Sounders
PGE Park, Portland, OR

Portland: Josh Saunders; Scot Thompson, Lee Morrison, Kevin Goldthwaite, Garrett Marcum; Brian Winters, Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar (Fadi Afash 80'), Edwin Miranda, Aaran Lines; Dan Antoniuk, Byron Alvarez. Substitutes not used: Sam Reynolds, Scott Benedetti, Shaun Higgins, Tom Poltl, Gavin Wilkinson.

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Billy Sleeth, Taylor Graham, Ryan Edwards, Zach Scott; CJ Klaas (Jake Sagare 90'), Kevin Sakuda, Leighton O’Brien, Gabe Sturm (Scott Jenkins 74'); Roger Levesque, Maikel Galindo (Andrew Gregor 75'). Substitutes not used: James Ward, Ben Somoza, Jake Sagare, Brent Whitfield, Brett Wiesner

2' SEA - Levesque (Scott)

Additional match reports: King County Journal, Timbers, Sounders, SoccerCityUSA photo gallery.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders won the opening leg of the 2-match playoff quarterfinal series 1-0 at the Portland Timbers. The lone goal came in just the second minute from Roger Levesque's head. Goalkeeper Preston Burpo made the plays he needed to, leading the Sounders to a shutout.

First Half

2' Levesque (Scott). Seattle got a welcome early goal from a throw-in play. Zach Scott's throw-in from the left side was dummied in the air by Taylor Graham, and it found the head of Levesque, who was goal side of his marker. Levesque used the back side of his head to send a bouncer to the far post, and it went in before goalkeeper Josh Saunders could get there. 1-0 Seattle.

Portland's Dan Antoniuk forced the first save of the match in the 8th minute with a blast up the middle from 20 yards, and Burpo had to be alert to fly right and parry it wide for right back Billy Sleeth.

The next threats were from Seattle at 35'. From the circle, Leighton O'Brien found Maikel Galindo open on the left, and after carrying the ball into the penalty area Galindo's shot was blocked away by a sliding Saunders halfway out from his line. A minute later a free kick play gave Levesque at the far post an open header that he powered onto the crossbar, the ball rebounding straight down onto the goal line and jumping away from goal, as they always do with that spin.

Portland's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar nearly caught the Seattle defense napping with a quick free kick from the left end of the arc at 43'. The Sounders were setting up the wall at the time and did not communicate clearly to Burpo as to whether or not the referee had said to wait for his whistle. With Burpo at the near post helping to set the wall, the quick shot just missed the top far corner.

Portland finished the half with two more chances. A free kick from just outside the left edge of the penalty area was bent on goal by Alcaraz-Cuellar, and Burpo punched it high in the air over the area and a defender cleared the leftovers. Edwin Miranda's cross from the right corner was slowed by a defender, allowing Byron Alvarez to run to it for a shot that missed the top near corner by a yard.

Halftime: Portland 0-1 Seattle

After the break Portland continued to pressure Seattle's goal when in the 47th an Alcaraz-Cuellar diagonal drop-pass to the left end of the arc was shot nicely by Garrett Marcum at the lower near corner, but Burpo dove right to parry it wide for a corner, his best save yet.

After 22 minutes with no good chances, Seattle had a pair, first a sliding shot by O'Brien in the arc, saved by Saunders with a dive forwards. CJ Klaas was served on a run up the right side and his pressured shot went wide of the near post.

At 73' a lot of Portland fans thought they had a goal when a ball cleared from a free kick play was shot back up the middle from 25 yards, but the bulge in the net came from the ball landing on top of the roof.

A minute later Seattle's Graham under pressure got a 10-yard header from a free kick that missed the top near corner by a half yard. In the 79th an Andrew Gregor corner kick gave Zach Scott a shot that was blocked near goal by a defender, and Scott Jenkins' immediate shot back was caught by Saunders.

Portland's next chance came in the 83rd when substitute Fadi Afash tried to chip over a charging Burpo from close range, but the ball landed on the roof.

Four minutes of added time gave Portland one last chance when a loose ball fell for Antoniuk, but his 20-yard blast sailed well wide of goal and Antoniuk was left holding his head in dismay.

Final: Portland 0-1 Seattle

        Portland  Seattle
Shots:       8         9
Saves:       4         3
Corners:     5         3
Fouls:      12        22
Offsides:    3         3

30' POR - Miranda cautioned for a foul in the circle
32' SEA - Scott cautioned for sliding under Alcaraz-Cuellar
45' SEA - Sleeth cautioned for a tactical foul at the halfway line
72' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for a late foul on Alvarez
90' SEA - Gregor cautioned for failing to give ten yards, delaying a Portland free kick

Referees: Yader Reyes; Desi Miller, Eric Dotarar; Eduardo Irigoyen

Attendance: 5,667