By CALEB SONNELAND
In the return leg of the heated Cascadia derby between hosts Portland Timbers and the traveling Seattle Sounders, it was the visitors who marched away with all three points and the bragging rights in the Pacific Northwest with a 3-2 win.
Osvaldo Alonso smashed home the game-winner in the 82nd minute from the penalty spot after substitute Lamar Neagle was felled by Eric Brunner inside the area to set up the spot kick. Brunner was subsequently sent off for the challenge and left the hosts to finish the match short-handed.
But it was Fredy Montero who was the hero for the visitors and the villain for the hosts as the DP snagged two second-half goals at the Jeld-Wen to keep his side in contention.
After having looked lethal all match, Montero finally got on the score sheet in the 57th minute when he curled home a beautiful free kick just inside Perkins near post to even things up. The DP hit the shot with a chip on his shoulder after being harshly fouled outside the area by Danso and the two exchanged words before the latter had his name put into the book.
The Colombian doubled his total in the 74th minute after a good ball from substitute from Lamar Neagle found Mauro Rosales who touched on to Montero for the striker to smash home from close range for his fifth goal of the season.
The Timbers had regained the edge in the 70th minute and looked to close out the game when Jorge Perlaza sped down the left side and had a shot/cross that was deflected off Tyson Wahl and past a hopeless Kasey Keller. Keller cut a frustrated figure between the sticks as it was the second goal he conceded in the match but was helpless to prevent.
Portland was first off the mark after Kalif Alhassan forced a Jeff Parke own goal just 49 seconds into the second half. Alhassan skipped down the right hand touchline before zipping the ball into the area and off Parke's foot to leave Keller with no chance and give the hosts a 1-0 advantage.
Montero had a handful of chances all day but couldn't complete his hat trick, even in the 88th minute when his free header six yards out was denied on the line by Perkins. Sounders fans screamed goal, but replay showed that the Timbers shot stopper kept the effort out.
Montero continued to look lethal just minutes after his goal when Friberg fed the Colombian into the area, but once again, Perkins made himself big and came up with a point blank save to keep things level.
It went from bad to worse in the 55th minute when starting center back Jhon Kennedy Hurtado went down with a knee injury in the build up to a good Portland offensive that saw Jorge Perlaza miss a tap-in from six yards out while already up 1-0. Hurtado was replaced by Patrick Ianni after being forced to leave the game with a right knee injury.
The packed house in Portland was a hostile environment for the visitors and cut an intimidating place to play.
"It was crazy," said Neagle. "The Timbers fans were intimidating, or they tried to be."
Portland packed 18,627 into the Jeld-Wen and those in attendance were very vocal throughout. But was Neagle nervous to come in for such a big fixture?
"No, not really. I got 30 to 40 minutes to go out there and do my thing. I was fresh and I knew I could run at their outside backs, so I did."
Neagle was an impact sub, setting up the assist on Montero's second goal and drawing the game-winning penalty in his impressive shift.
The rematch in Portland follows the first clash between the two rivals when they slugged out a 1-1 draw thanks to goals from Alvaro Fernandez and "Futty" Danso.
What did you think of the game? How much does this result mean in the Pacific Northwest? Is Montero your Man of the Match?
Share your thoughts below