PORTLAND, Ore. -- Roger Levesque scored early for Seattle as the Sounders defeated the Portland Timbers 1-0 Friday night to take a one-goal lead into the second and final game of a two-game, aggregate-goal United Soccer Leagues First Division playoff series.
Just two minutes into the match, Seattle scored the game's only goal on a throw-in by Zach Scott to an unmarked Levesque, who headed it in for the strike. Timbers goalkeeper Josh Saunders was unable to block the ball as it sneaked inside the far post.
Portland's Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar nearly got a free kick past Seattle goalkeeper Preston Burpo after 42 minutes, and Byron Alvarez sent an open shot in the box just over the crossbar two minutes later, marking the Timbers' best chances to tally in the first half.
``We need to be more quality around the penalty area,'' Timbers head coach Bobby Howe said. ``The game was very even, and it could have easily been 1-0, Timbers.''
The second match kicks off Sunday at 7 p.m. at Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila, Wash., and will be nationally televised on Fox Soccer Channel.