MLS Wrap: Miraculous Martins stuns San Jose
The Seattle Sounders bounced back thanks to Obafemi Martins' wonder-strike, as the goals flowed in the MLS on Saturday.
On a day where an average of over three goals were scored per game, Seattle's 1-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes arguably included the pick of the strikes, with Martins lobbing visiting goalkeeper Jon Busch early in the first half at CenturyLink Field.
In the eighth minute, the Sounders attacked down the left and Gonzalo Pineda chipped the ball into the box for Martins to run on to.
The Nigerian striker let the ball bounce once before hooking it over his shoulder with his left boot and Busch watched open-mouthed as Martins' lob looped over his head and inside the far post.
Due to an otherwise strong performance by Busch, Seattle had to settle for a one-goal win but coach Sigi Schmid would have been thrilled to return to the winners' list, after watching his team succumb to a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of New England Revolution last week.
The victory kept the Sounders top of the Western Conference with 25 points, two ahead of Real Salt Lake, who defeated Colorado Rapids 2-1.
In the Eastern Conference, New England moved into pole position with their second straight five-goal performance, prevailing 5-3 away to the Philadelphia Union.
The Revolution led 2-0 and 5-1 but had to weather a late flurry from Philadelphia, who scored twice in the final 15 minutes.
A header from A.J. Soares and Diego Fagundez's smooth finish gave the visitors the early advantage before Vincent Nogueira dragged Union back into the contest in the 36th minute with a pile-driver from the edge of the area.
Lee Nguyen restored New England's two-goal margin just after half-time before Chris Tierney curled his free-kick past Philadelphia goalkeeper Zac MacMath to make it 4-1 in the 57th minute.
Patrick Mullins scored the Revolution's fifth 10 minutes later before Sheanon Williams' 76th-minute strike and Sebastien Le Toux's stoppage-time penalty ensured a nervous finish for New England.
The victory took the Revolution to 20 points, three ahead of the East's previous leaders Sporting Kansas City and third-placed Houston Dynamo, who defeated Los Angeles Galaxy 1-0.
In all 25 goals were scored on Saturday with Portland Timbers versus Columbus Crew finishing 3-3.
After Max Urruti put the Timbers in front in the fifth minute, Columbus striker Federico Higuain produced another contender for goal of the day, chipping Portland goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts from 25 yards.
Just after the half-hour mark the Timbers had Alvas Powell sent off, before Higuain converted a penalty for the visitors in first-half stoppage time.
The second half burst into life in the final 10 minutes with Portland captain Will Johnson equalising for the hosts, immediately followed by Ethan Finlay's goal for Columbus, before Gaston Fernandez made it 3-3 in the 85th minute, as the Timbers claimed their seventh draw from 10 games this season.
In other results, FC Dallas were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Chivas USA, Jermain Defoe got on the scoresheet in Toronto FC's 2-0 defeat of New York Red Bulls and DC United versus Montreal Impact ended 1-1.
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