MLS: Clint Dempsey scores as Seattle Sounders defeat rivals Portland
Last Updated: 14/07/14 8:25am
Clint Dempsey made a successful return to MLS action with a goal as the Seattle Sounders beat the Portland Timbers 2-0.
Dempsey finally broke the deadlock with 16 minutes to go and Marco Pappa added an insurance goal in the closing minutes as Seattle got reward for a dominant display against their local rivals.
The opening period of the Cascadia Cup clash proved rather feisty with two shoving matches and no goals to celebrate for the crowd of more than 64,000 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
But Seattle came out for the second period with an added sense of attacking purpose and went close to scoring just after the interval when Donovan Ricketts made a fine save to keep out Gonzalo Pineda's header.
Steve Zakuani wasted one of few Timbers chances from just outside the box, firing a shot straight at home keeper Stefan Frei.
Obafemi Martins came off the bench for the Sounders and almost scored with one of his first touches, just failing to hit the target as he got on the end of a cross from another US World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin.
But they finally got their breakthrough in the 74th minute when Dempsey fired home from close-range after he and Martins had been denied by wonderful saves from Ricketts.
And the Western Conference leaders made sure of the points three minutes from time when Lamar Neagle played in Pappa and he beat Ricketts to make it 2-0 and spark wild celebrations in the packed stands.