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Timbers vs. Sounders: Clint Dempsey hat trick paves way for shocking 4-4 tie

Sounders take early lead, fall behind by two and still salvage a point.

Mike Russell/Sounder at Heart

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Go ahead and take a deep breath, sit down and gather yourself because that was absolutely insane. In what has to be the craziest game in the Seattle Sounders' MLS history, they managed to blow an early lead, fall behind by two in the second half and still managed to pull out a 4-4 tie on the road against the Portland Timbers on Saturday. Oh yeah, and Clint Dempsey scored the fifth hat trick in Sounders history.

The game seemed over, for all intents and purposes, when the Timbers scored a pair of goals in quick succession in the 56th and 57th minutes. But, much to Sidereal's delight, they bunkered and the Sounders finally broke through on a pair of Dempsey goals in the 85th and 88th minutes. The equalizer was a penalty, drawn by DeAndre Yedlin, who had an otherwise forgettable afternoon.

The Sounders got off to a dream start, scoring in the 3rd minute when Jalil Anibaba sent a ball toward the far post that Kenny Cooper smacked into the back of net even though the initial shot looked like it may have gone in anyway.

But the good feelings were relatively short-lived. Just six minutes later, the Timbers were able to equalize on a Diego Chara blast from about 20 yards. Chara created the chance almost single-handedly, taking the ball off Gonzalo Pineda near midfield and taking a few dribbles before rifling his shot. Pineda had been put in an awkward position by DeAndre Yedlin's throw-in toward the middle of the pitch.

After end-to-end chances from both teams in the 10th minute, which featured Andrew Weber robbing Cooper of his second goal with a sprawling save and Darlington Nagbe hitting a shot off the post, the Timbers stormed out to the lead in 15th minute on Diego Valeri goal. Valeri was able to deftly control a Michael Harrington feed at the edge of the goal box and then roofed his shot from a tight angle.

The Sounders battled back and grabbed the equalizer in the 24th minute on Dempsey's second goal of the season. That chance was created when Kenny Cooper created a turnover and fed Martins, who was able to find Dempsey all alone on the left side. Dempsey was able to easily slide his shot inside the far post.

An absolutely wild first half ultimately ended 2-2, a score that all things considered the Sounders had to feel reasonably good about.

And the second half started reasonably well, too. The first good chance came off the foot of Anibaba, who managed to get an open look off a corner from about eight yards out. But with Dempsey all alone at the back post, Anibaba fired his shot just wide, with Dempsey unable to get a poke on it.

That proved costly, as the Timbers seemingly seized control of the match during a two-minute stretch in which Chara and Urruti scored goals. Chara's came after a turnover when he was allowed to dribbled in almost entirely uncontested from around midfield and blasted his shot from about 22 yards. Urruti followed that up with an even longer shot, after taking the ball from Anibaba around midfield. The Timbers' best look came on a corner in the 65th minute but a header hit off the crossbar -- and may have crossed the line -- but Yedlin cleared it away almost by accident.

The Timbers had several chances to expand their lead and actually seemed to be running away with it until they went into a bunker around the 70th minute.

First Dempsey finished a Martins feed that breathed some life into the match. Then three minutes later, Yedlin was taken down while charging into the box and drew a penalty. After a brief conversation with Gonzalo Pineda, Dempsey was allowed to take the penalty and finished it coolly.

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