Raul Ruidiaz scored two stunning goals and set up another as Seattle Sounders beat rivals Portland Timbers 3-0 to lift the Cascadia Cup on Sunday night.
After a goalless first half that saw an early Portland breakthrough chalked off by VAR, Ruidiaz thundered a shot off the underside of the bar on 72 minutes, before doubling his tally seven minutes from time.
Kelvin Leerdam put the game to bed with Seattle’s third on 85 minutes as they secured a third consecutive victory over Portland.
Portland Timbers were coming off a victory in the recent ‘MLS is Back’ tournament in Florida, where they went undefeated in seven matches and defeated Orlando City 2-1 in the championship game on August 11.
It was the first game back for both teams since the league announced it was resuming the season locally and, even with crowd noise pumped into Providence Park, it was noticeably quieter than when the Timbers Army supporters group fills the stadium with songs and chants.
Tarps were stretched across seats in the north end of the stadium with photos of fans, while a banner was erected that read: ‘Next time you see us we will be smiling’.
Image: Chris Duvall’s celebrations were short-lived after he thought he had given Portland the lead
Chris Duvall appeared to put Portland ahead with just five minutes on the clock with a venomous drive into the roof of the Seattle net, but it was ruled out after VAR spotted a marginal offside.
A late Seattle flurry turned the game on its head as two instinctive finished from Ruidiaz put the visitors into a commanding lead before the forward added an assist to his two goals with a square pass which Leerdam converted to seal the victory.
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