Vancouver 86ers 3 - 4 Seattle
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
21 VAN - Tilley (Mobilio)
47 VAN - Franks (Sulentic)
59 SEA - Howes (Jenkins)
61 SEA - Sawatzky (Gregor)
66 VAN - Lyall
74 SEA - Gregor (Sawatzky)
95 SEA - Sawatzky (Barton)
Vancouver: Didar Sandhu; Rick Titus, Jeff Skinner (Steve McCauley 26), Steve MacDonald (Alfredo Valente 74), Geordie Lyall; Paul Dailly, Kevin Holness, Johnny Sulentic (Tiarnan King 79), Chris Franks; Darren Tilley, Domenic Mobilio (Dave Morris 90).
Seattle: Bill May; Ali John Utush, Craig Waibel, Scott Jenkins, Tim Steidten (Chad Brown 53), Kieran Barton; Dick McCormick, Sean Henderson (Greg Howes 26), Andrew Gregor; Viet Nguyen, Darren Sawatzky.
A true fan savors the classic matches between rivals, and this match fit that category. The Seattle Sounders came back from 2-0 and 3-2 deficits to beat the host Vancouver 86ers 4-3 after extra time. Darren Sawatzky finished a killer cross from defender Kieran Barton for the match winner, Sawatzky's second late match winner in two nights. Sawatzky had an earlier goal and an assist in tonight's match.
With San Diego losing at Orange County earlier in the day, the win moved the Sounders into first place in the Pacific Division, a point ahead of San Diego with a match in hand. Seattle and San Diego will play a 2-match series next weekend with first place up for grabs.
Seattle started with a back-heavy 5-3-2 lineup, but it wasn't a defensive shell as the backs all seemed to have a license to go forward. Indeed, the first 20 minutes saw Seattle pound away at Vancouver's goal relentlessly, but without anything on the scoreboard to show for it. In the 4th minute Sawatzky dished left to fellow striker Viet Nguyen, whose shot from 15 yards was saved at the near post by Didar Sandhu. On a throw-in play, Scott Jenkins tried to flick Sawatzky's cross on goal but was wide of the far post. Tim Steidten was forward to cross square for Dick McCormick, whose 25-yard shot just cleared the top right corner.
Vancouver's first shot came in the 15th when Darren Tilley juked his marker but put his shot just wide of the far post.
Back Seattle's way, Nguyen's shot from 18 deflected off the sole of Rick Titus' boot and just missed the post. Sawatzky crossed nicely from the right side to the far post, where Andrew Gregor got a solid head on the ball but put it over the bar when he might have angled it downward.
21' Tilley (Mobelio). Against the run of play, a counterattack saw Paul Dailly spring Domenic Mobilio on the left side. Mobelio's 18-yard shot at the far post was pushed wide with one hand by diving goalkeeper Bill May, and Tilley ran in unmarked to claim the rebound near the top right corner of the goal area. Tilley sent his shot inside the near post before May could recover. Vancouver 1-0.
Injuries forced an early substitute for each team in the 26th minute, with Seattle's Greg Howes coming on for Sean Henderson in the midfield and Vancouver's Steve McCauley replacing Jeff Skinner in the back.
The next good chance came for Seattle in the 29th when a throw-in to the near post landed at the feet of Jenkins and Howes, but the Vancouver defense swarmed to prevent any chance of a shot. Nguyen fed Gregor for an 18-yard shot from the left that cleared the top near corner by a foot.
For Vancouver in the 37th, Tilley won a ball for a shot at the lower far corner that was pushed wide by May. Sulentic collected the loose ball left of goal and used a feint to get by a defender and carry the ball back in for a 10 yard shot, but May did well to smother it and not give up another rebound. May made a reaction save of Mobelio's header from Sulentic's corner kick.
The last 8 minutes of the half was all Seattle. McCormick's 25-yard free kick up the middle was placed accurately to the lower left corner but Sandhu made a diving save and held on. Barton was up for a shot but he missed the far post by a few yards. Howes gave a short cross to Nguyen for a chance from 10 yards but he shot parallel to the goal line when it seemed like he had an open target. Nguyen's corner kick came back to him for another chance, and his cross past the far post was headed sharply on goal by Steidten, but Kevin Holness at the far post headed the shot away. Jenkins fired Holness' clearance back up the middle but was a yard wide.
Seattle had outshot Vancouver 13-7 but the 86ers went into the locker room with the lead.
Halftime: Vancouver 1 - 0 Seattle
47' Franks (Sulentic). For the second night in a row, Seattle gave up a goal to start the second half. Mobilio was tripped a yard outside the right edge of the penalty area. Sulentic, always dangerous on free kicks, sent a rocket at the top near corner. May managed to deflect it onto the crossbar and from a few yards past the far post Chris Franks headed the rebound back across the goal to the far post. The man at the post managed to clear the ball, but only after it had wholly crossed the goal line, and the assistant referee raised his flag and sprinted up the line. Vancouver 2-0.
Seattle resumed their pressure in the 50th minute. Howes fed Nguyen in front of the arc, and Nguyen juked his marker for a shot that was pushed over the top right corner by Sandhu. The corner kick was cleared to Barton, who volleyed a shot from 25 that went well wide. Sweeper Ali John Utush tried a prayer from just over the halfway line but wasn't close.
Down by two goals, Seattle in sent midfielder Chad Brown for defender Steidten in the 53rd.
For Vancouver, Mobilio got a lucky deflection to win possession in close. Mobilio dropped diagonally for Holness, whose hard shot was right into May's belly.
59' Howes (Jenkins). Jenkins fed a pass into the penalty area and a defender tried to clear it but unfortunately deflected the ball in front of his goal. Howes was first to it and put a low shot past Sandhu to start Seattle's comeback. Vancouver 2-1.
61' Sawatzky (Gregor). The next goal came quickly. Gregor curled in a cross from the left touch line, and Sawatzky outran his marker on a near-post run and slid in feet first to push the ball in with his cleats from four yards. 2-2, new match.
A minute later Barton got a ball in the right corner from Utush and Barton's cross/shot was caught by Sandhu at the near post.
66' Lyall. In a defensive mistake, McCormick tried to clear a ball from just inside the 18-yard line, but Geordie Lyall was right there and poked his leg in to block the clearance. The ball deflected off Lyall's shin and looped up and past May and into the net on the first bounce to put Vancouver back into the lead. Vancouver 3-2.
74' Gregor (Sawatzky). 30 yards from goal, Sawatzky on the right sent a square pass to Gregor on the left. Gregor bent a nice, long, right-footed shot into the top far corner just out of the reach of Sandhu. 3-3.
The last 15 minutes of regulation was evenly played. On a Seattle corner kick play, Brown headed a cross to Jenkins 15 yards from goal in the middle, but Jenkins sent the ball well over the bar when he had some open net to shoot for.
For Vancouver, Dailly blasted a 15-yard shot from the right but sent it a yard high.
Howes fired a 20-yard rocket from the left side but hit the wrong side of the far post. Barton's shot/cross from the right touch line was caught at the far post by Sandhu.
In the 89th, Franks headed Dailly's corner kick sharply on goal but right at May. On a counterattack, Tilley had a 15-yard chance from the left but was well over the bar.
In the 90th, Howes couldn't get enough of his head on a Jenkins throw-in and was wide of the far post from 15 yards.
Regulation: Vancouver 3 - 3 Seattle
Dave Morris, just on for Mobilio, earned a shot from Vancouver's first attack in extra time and a Seattle defender deflected the shot high for a corner kick. The corner kick was wasted long. Vancouver continued to pressure Seattle's goal through the 4th minute of extra time, but Seattle's defense denied any more shots.
95' Sawatzky (Barton). Against the run of play, Barton was forward on a counterattack and had acres of space in the right corner. He fired a fast-paced, worm-burning cross into the goal area and the tireless Sawatzky beat his marker to it and slid in to send the ball into the ceiling of the net from a yard for the match winner.
Final: Vancouver 3 - 4 Seattle
Referee: Mauricio Navarro; Asst Refs: Elvio Chies, Joe Kenward; 4th Official: Joe Branco.