Vancouver 86ers 3 - 0 Seattle Sounders
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
5 VAN - Sulentic (Mobilio)
10 VAN - Franks (Mobilio)
50 VAN - Sulentic (Tilley)
Vancouver: Didar Sandhu; Rick Titus, Steve McCauley, Jeff Skinner; Kevin Holness, John Sulentic (Tiarnan King 86), Geordie Lyall, Paul Dailly, Chris Franks (Alfredo Valente 70); Domenic Mobilio (Jason Jordan 74), Darren Tilley (Chris Clarke 83).
Seattle: Bill May; Kieran Barton, Tim Steidten, Craig Waibel, Scott Jenkins; Dick McCormick (Chad Brown 57), Sean Henderson, Ali John Utush (Andrew Gregor 52); Greg Howes (Kei Kinoshita 59), Viet Nguyen, Darren Sawatzky.
The Seattle Sounders were soundly beaten 3-0 by the host Vancouver 86ers in the first match of a home-and-away series on consecutive nights. Vancouver played better on both offense and defense.
Newcomer Tim Steidten, a 21-year-old defender from Germany, got the start for his first appearance as a Sounder. Steidten played well, but it may have been unwise for coach Neil Megson to shuffle the defense when the Sounders had shut out their opponents in four of the previous five matches. Vancouver took a 2-0 lead after just 10 minutes when John Sulentic, then Chris Franks, scored. Sulentic added the third goal early in the second half. Vancouver goalkeeper Didar Sandhu made 7 saves en route to the shutout, but only one save was challenging.
Steidten was assigned to mark veteran forward Darren Tilley, age 33, who played his first minutes for Vancouver. Ali John Utush played as right midfielder. Called up from the Seattle Sounders Select for his first minutes in the A-League was midfielder Chad Brown, age 24, who entered for Dick McCormick early in the second half.
A foul by Vancouver right after Seattle kicked off led to a good scoring opportunity. The free kick was cleared by Vancouver but headed back in by Scott Jenkins and touched to the left side by Darren Sawatzky, where an open Sean Henderson ran onto the ball and shot low into the sliding Sandhu.
5' Sulentic (Mobilio). Kevin Holness was open near the right touch line and crossed low into the penalty area. Dominic Mobilio dropped the ball up the middle and Sulentic blasted it into the top left corner from 20 yards using the outside of his foot. Vancouver had scored on their first shot.
Within a minute McCormick had a good look from the arc when a cross was dummied for him, but the unpressured shot was weak and right at Sandhu. Seattle's offense then disappeared until nearly the end of the half.
10' Franks (Mobilio). Seattle coughed up the ball as they started an attack from their own end and the ball was put behind the defense for Mobilio on the right side. Mobilio carried the ball to the goal line, beat Craig Waibel with a feint and sent a cross through the goal area. Tilley was centered in front of goal and missed his attempt at the ball, but there was Franks beyond the far post waiting for anything that got through and he finished inside the near post before goalkeeper Bill May could move from post to post. Vancouver 2-0.
Vancouver nearly had their third goal in the 13th minute when Holness' bending cross to the arc was struck well by Tilley on the half volley, but the shot went an inch over the bar. Franks sent in a dangerous cross from the left to Mobilio, momentarily open 10 yards from the far post, but Mobilio's first touch with his foot popped the ball straight up above his head giving Seattle time to recover.
McCormick was cautioned in the 28th for retaliating against Sulentic shortly after Sulentic took McCormick down from behind and referee Rene Parra employed the advantage clause.
Near the end of the half Seattle finally generated a shot when a long, diagonal ball into the penalty area for Jenkins was headed goalwards for Viet Nguyen, whose first-touch shot from 10 yards was too high.
Tilley had a last minute shot from 20 yards after Seattle's defense turned the ball over, but the shot was right at May.
Halftime: Vancouver 2 - 0 Seattle
McCormick had the first good chance of the second half, but his 20-yarder up the middle was again weakly struck. Then AJ Utush's cross from a weak Vancouver clearance gave Henderson a chance with a header at the far post, but the shot was directed down and bounced up to the crossbar where Sandhu caught it. Vancouver then scored on the counterattack.
50' Sulentic (Tilley). Tilley sent a pass through the circle to Sulentic, who carried straight up the middle and juked Kieran Barton inside the area to get free for the shot. May had left the goal line and Sulentic found space at the near post with a low shot. Vancouver 3-0.
The teams then alternated shots until the final minute. For Vancouver, Paul Dailly shot hard from the 18, but May caught the shot. Sulentic's 25-yarder up the middle was almost good enough for a hat trick, but May leaped sideways to save at the right post. Mobilio's feint freed him from Waibel for a shot from the left that was 2 yards wide of the near post.
For Seattle, an open Nguyen was served at the arc for a shot but he missed the top far corner by a yard. Substitute Andrew Gregor tried a 25-yarder up the middle but missed by 2 yards. Henderson settled Gregor's cross at the 18-yard line and blasted a rising shot, well saved by Sandhu.
The 90th minute and added time gave Sawatzky the last two chances. His 30-yarder up the middle was well wide. Then Sawatzky worked a wall pass with Kei Kinoshita for a good shot from the 18 that missed the lower left post by just an inch.
Final: Vancouver 3 - 0 Seattle
With the same two teams playing again within 24 hours, it should be interesting to see how Sounders coach Neil Megson adjusts his lineup.
Referee: Rene Parra; Asst Refs: Elvio Chies, Quentin O'Mahoney; 4th Official: Joe Branco.