The two teams combined for five goals in the second half , with Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso scoring the game-winner on a penalty kick in the 83rd minute.
PORTLAND — With drums beating, flags waving and fans chanting loudly on a sunny afternoon, the Sounders and Timbers continued a 36-year-old rivalry amid picture-perfect conditions Sunday at Jeld-Wen Field.
And the game lived up to the setting.
After a wild second half that included a head-spinning five goals, Seattle bested its fiercest rival with a 3-2 comeback win in front of 18,627 fans and a national TV audience.
Sounders FC coach Sigi Schmid said the excitement was ultimately what rivalry games are all about.
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“It’s a great advertisement for the sport,” he said.
Led by Fredy Montero’s two goals, Sounders FC (9-4-8) improved to 40-27-9 against the Timbers in a series that dates back to 1975 in the North American Soccer League. Seattle also extended its MLS unbeaten streak to eight games.
“I think at different times in the last two years the team might have folded,” said goalkeeper Kasey Keller of overcoming adversity, “and that’s not the case right now. The team knows that we’re capable of coming back in any kind of situation and getting results out of it.”
Portland (5-9-3) has lost four of its past five home games, and is winless in its last seven matches overall.
The Sounders took the lead for good in the 83rd minute when Osvaldo Alonso coolly converted a penalty kick past Timbers goalkeeper Troy Perkins to break a 2-2 tie. The midfielder set up the play with a great pass ahead to Lamar Neagle, who was tripped by Portland’s Eric Brunner on a breakaway in the penalty box.
“There were many things on my mind: It’s a 2-2 game, in Portland, lot of people — I was very nervous,” said Alonso on his winning goal.
The Timbers had taken a 2-1 lead in the 69th minute, when a shot by forward Jorge Perlaza deflected off Seattle defender Tyson Wahl past Keller. But Montero tied the score shortly after when he redirected a 74th-minute cross from midfielder Mauro Rosales past Perkins.
The Timbers had opened the scoring in the 46th minute on a goal set up by a masterful run on the right flank by Kalif Alhassan. The midfielder blew past Wahl and fired a cross into the middle that deflected in off Sounders defender Jeff Parke for an own goal.
“It was a blessing in disguise,” Parke said. “It woke us up and I think we stepped it up after that.”
Seattle was able to bounce back and once again Montero, who has a team-high five goals, had the answer. After drawing a free kick from 25 yards out in the 57th minute, the designated player deftly curled a shot inside the lower corner of the goal to make it 1-1.
And there was plenty more excitement to be had in the exhilarating win.
“For me,” said Montero, “it was amazing. … I think the most important thing is the three points for the team.”
• Sunday’s match counted toward the 2011 Cascadia Cup, a fan-based competition between Pacific Northwest teams that dates to 2004. Seattle is 1-0-2 this year. Portland is 0-1-1 and Vancouver is 0-0-1.
• Before the game Timbers fans unveiled a banner that read, “King of Clubs — P.T.F.C.” and had another saying, “Quality over quantity”.
• The Sounders wore black armbands in honor of Mark Peterson, an all-time great NASL Sounder, who died Thursday.
• Keller and Portland midfielder Jack Jewsbury — the captains of their respective sides — were each named to the MLS All-Star First XI on the ESPN broadcast at halftime. For Keller it’s his third-consecutive season earning the honor.
• Seattle defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado was forced to leave the game with a right knee injury. Schmid mentioned the possibility of an MCL issue, but said it was too early to tell. Hurtado tore the ACL in his left knee last year.
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|Seattle||0 3 — 3|
|Portland||0 2 — 2|
First half — None. Second half — 1, Portland, Parke (own goal), 46th minute. 2, Seattle, Montero 4, 57th. 3, Portland, Perlaza 4 (Chara), 69th. 4, Seattle, Montero 5 (Rosales, Neagle), 74th. 5, Seattle, Alonso 3 (penalty kick), 83rd. Goalies — Seattle, Kasey Keller; Portland, Troy Perkins. Shots — Seattle 14, Portland 11. Shots on goal — Seattle 7, Portland 3. Saves — Seattle 2, Portland 4. Corner kicks — Seattle 3, Portland 5. Fouls — Seattle 9, Portland 11. Offsides — Seattle 0, Portland 1. Yellow cards — Marcelin, Portland, 56th; Montero, Seattle, 58th; Alonso, Seattle, 63rd; Rosales, Seattle, 78th. Red cards — Brunner, Portland, 81st. Referee — Jorge Gonzalez. Assistant referees — Greg Barkey. James Conlee. 4th official — Andrew Chapin. A — 18,627.
Seattle — Kasey Keller, Jeff Parke, James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (Patrick Ianni, 57th), Tyson Wahl, Erik Friberg, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales, Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle, 66th), Roger Levesque, Fredy Montero (Pat Noonan, 89th).
Portland — Troy Perkins, Eric Brunner, Mamadou Danso, Steven Purdy, Kalif Alhassan, Darlington Nagbe (Sal Zizzo, 64th), Rodney Wallace, Diego Chara, James Marcelin, Jack Jewsbury, Jorge Perlaza (Kenny Cooper, 75th).