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   2002 Sep 13

Playoffs, 2nd round, 1st leg:

Vancouver Whitecaps  2 - 0  Seattle Sounders
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC

Goals:
44' VAN - Jordan (Dailly)
90' VAN - Jordan (Clarke)

Vancouver: Jim Larkin; Nick Dasovic, Chris Franks, Geordie Lyall; Jeff Clarke, Oliver Heald, Paul Dailly (Andrew Veer 85'), Alfredo Valente; Steve Kindel, Jason Jordan, Dave Morris (Niall Thompson 70').

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Dick McCormick, Scott Jenkins, Ryan Edwards; Nate Daligcon (Zach Scott 85'), Chad Brown (Jason Boyce 68'), Leighton O'Brien, Viet Nguyen, Jason Farrell; Darren Sawatzky, Brian Ching.


Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Vancouver Whitecaps used the home pitch advantage to perfection as Jason Jordan scored at the end of each half to lead the Whitecaps to a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders in the first leg of their playoff series. The Sounders had won all four meetings between these two sides in the regular season but couldn't crack Vancouver's defense this time.

First Half

Vancouver had most of the chances the first half. Dave Morris got around the Seattle defense in the 5th minute and dropped a dangerous cross, but Seattle's defense cleared.

Seattle's first shot came from a long Leighton O'Brien free kick, headed by Scott Jenkins but saved by goalkeeper Jim Larkin.

For the Whitecaps in the 10th, Steve Kindel crossed from the right to the spot, but goalkeeper Preston Burpo dove out to claim it before Jordan could get there. In the 17th, Jordan crossed from the right for Kindel, who skied the half volley. A minute later Jordan sent in a dangerous low cross for Morris, but Burpo again dove out to claim it.

In the 25th, Seattle's Jason Farrell took a 15-yard shot from the left that was struck too weakly to bother Larkin.

In the 28th, a 35-yard shot up the middle by Paul Dailly was deflected by a defender and cleared the bar by just a foot with Burpo leaping backwards into the goal.

After 12 unproductive minutes, a Seattle diagonal pass in the 40th put Farrell into the penalty area but a defender got there at the same time to clear the ball, and Farrell was left appealing in vain for a foul call.

44' Jordan (Dailly). On a Vancouver counterattack, Dailly from the right touch line and the halfway line sent a ball into space for Jordan's timed run. Jordan was alone five yards ahead of the nearest defender and from 15 yards chipped his shot over the advancing Burpo. 1-0 Vancouver.

The final minute saw a long Seattle free kick headed on goal with Larkin out, but a defender on the line cleared the shot.

Halftime: Vancouver 1 - 0 Seattle

Vancouver kept up the momentum early in the second half. A free kick into Seattle's box was claimed by Burpo just before Alfredo Valente could poke it in. A Morris cross/shot from the left settled on top of the net. A Valente corner kick was punched away by Burpo in front of the goal.

Seattle took the momentum in the 58th minute, starting when Viet Nguyen's cross from the right was headed by Darren Sawatzky, but well wide of the far post. A Farrell throw-in was passed in front of goal where Nguyen finished from 8 yards, but he was offside and the flag went up. Brian Ching had a chance from a Nguyen cross, but a defender deflected it out for a corner kick. In the 73rd, Ryan Edwards' cross/shot from the left was on goal, catching Larkin off his line, but the goalkeeper retreated just in time to parry it wide for a corner.

In the 77th, Vancouver got a chance from a Nate Daligcon turnover, chipped by Jeff Clarke to substitute Niall Thompson, whose quick 15-yarder went just wide of the near post.

The red card came out in the 78th for Nguyen. After Vancouver fouled at the top of Seattle's box, a quick restart went errantly to Vancouver and Nguyen came in late and cleats up into Clarke. Off went the player who had created most of Seattle's good chances.

Seattle's last shot of the match was a 35-yard try by O'Brien in the 80th, sent two yards over the bar.

Seattle kept pressing for a goal despite being short a man. They wouldn't get a goal, but they would concede one, as they were leaving themselves vulnerable to the counterattack. In the 85th, Jordan crossed from the right to Clarke in front of goal, and the header was saved by Burpo. A Vancouver shot from 15 yards on the left rolled just wide of the far post.

90' Jordan (Clarke). On another Vancouver counterattack two minutes into added time, Jordan passed to Clarke and got the ball back. Jordan beat McCormick to earn a shot from the center of the 18-yard line that caught Burpo leaning the wrong way. 2-0 Vancouver.

One final chance was Vancouver's as a cross from the left gave Kindel an 8-yard shot, saved by Burpo.

Final: Vancouver 2 - 0 Seattle

The return leg will be contested in Seattle two days hence. The Sounders need to win by three goals to take the series on aggregate, or two goals to force extra time followed by PKs. The series winner advances to the conference finals.

Statistics:
        Vancouver  Seattle
Shots:      10        8
Saves:       5        4
Corners:     3        7
Fouls:      16       14
Offsides:    3        3

Misconduct:
3' VAN - Franks cautioned for tripping Ching near the halfway line.
14' SEA - McCormick cautioned for knocking Jordan off the ball on an attack.
47' VAN - Clarke cautioned for a foul at the halfway line.
78' SEA - Nguyen sent off for a late, cleats up foul on Clarke.
79' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for dissent after Nguyen's red card.

Referee: Steven DePiero; Martin Reid, Mark Budda; Jill Proctor.
Attendance: 5,686