Despite being down to 10 men versus the Portland Timbers, the Seattle Sounders grab a tie, courtesy of Clint Dempsey’s header in the fourth minute of stoppage time.
As former England international Jimmy Greaves once said: “Football’s a funny old game.” After events during the weekend, this is likely something the Seattle Sounders will attest to.
Last Wednesday, the Rave Green were stunned by Scott Sutter, when he headed home a goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time, to earn Orlando City SC a point. On Sunday, it was the Sounders’ turn to break some hearts, with virtually the same set of circumstances.
Down 2-1, the Sounders appeared to be on their way to a demoralizing defeat. However, fate had other ideas, as Clint Dempsey headed home a Roman Torres cross in the fourth minute of stoppage time, to earn his team a valuable point.
In truth, you could argue that a tie was the least the Sounders deserved, in a game where they more than held their own. In fact, despite their struggles on the road this season, there is a certain element of “what if” about how things played out.
Seattle had actually taken a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute, courtesy of Joevin Jones, and looked to be headed into the halftime break with the advantage. However, the momentum of the game turned just before the break, after Brad Evans tripped Darlington Nagbe inside the box.
Not only did referee Ricardo Salazar point to the penalty spot, but he also showed Evans a red card. Fanendo Adi fired home to get the Timbers back on level terms.
Unfortunately for Seattle, the first half action still wasn’t over, as Portland took a stunning lead in the fourth minute of injury time. Dairon Asprilla’s header made it 2-1 to the home side, and the Sounders were looking at playing another 45 minutes with 10 men.
Interestingly, the Timbers didn’t take full advantage of their position in the second half to put the game away. Dempsey came on with just over half an hour to go, and ultimately made Portland pay for their lack of urgency.
It was somewhat of a surprise that Dempsey didn’t start, as he has made a history of tormenting the Timbers. In the end though, it worked out well, as he scored his ninth career goal against the Sounders’ Cascadia Cup rivals.
From the 34-year old’s perspective, he had no issue with starting the game on the bench. Speaking to SportspressNW.com‘s Andrew Harvey and other members of the media, Dempsey said:
“I’m getting older. Three games in one week is more difficult to do. (If the club needs) I’ll come on an be a sub and try to help out. I was just trying to rise above the defender and get a head on it. Luckily enough, it went in. Soccer’s a crazy game. Last week (the late draw) felt like a loss, this feels like a win. It shows we have a lot of character.”
In the grand scheme of things, the Sounders have earned just two points from a possible six and still sit outside a playoff spot. However, Sunday’s drama should inspire a team which has already proven they are capable of finding more consistency as the season progresses.
What’s your opinion on Sunday night’s game. Did the Sounders earn their point? Did they possible deserve more? Share your thoughts in the comments section.