2011 Jun 11

Three late goals in a Cascadia Cup draw

Seattle Sounders FC  2 - 2  Vancouver Whitecaps
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

29' VAN: Eric Hassli (PK)
81' SEA: Mauro Rosales
84' SEA: Osvaldo Alonso

85' VAN: Eric Hassli

Seattle: Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Tyson Wahl; Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Mauro Rosales (Eric Friberg 83'), Lamar Neagle (Nate Jaqua 59'); Mike Fucito (Miguel Montaņo 65'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Leo Gonzalez, Zach Scott, Pat Noonan.

Vancouver: Joe Cannon; Jonathan Leathers, Jay DeMerit, Mouloud Akloul, Alain Rochat; Shea Salinas (Bilal Duckett 90'), Gershon Koffie, Jeb Brovsky (Michael Nanchoff 85'), Camilo; Davide Chiumiento (Peter Vagenas 73'), Eric Hassli.
Substitutes not used: Kevin Guppy, Greg Janicki, Terry Dunfield, Omar Salgado.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Three goals in a four-minute stretch late in the match took the Seattle Sounders FC from losing to winning and then to a draw. Vancouver's Eric Hassli scored the first and last goals of the match, his last one a superb goal. Seattle's goals were from Mauro Rosales, his first for the Sounders, and Osvaldo Alonso, his first of the year.

A spirited crowd of 36,502 turned out for the re-kindling of the Sounders-Whitecaps rivalry. After the national anthems ECS unfurled another large banner, captioned "What is best in life? To crush your enemy, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their supporters."

Alonso had an odd match. He scored Seattle's go-ahead goal, but he also made mistakes that gave Vancouver their best chances. It started in the opening minute when he fouled unnecessarily 25 yards from goal, but the free kick was wasted when it was sent within Kasey Keller's reach. Alonso's errant square pass in Seattle's end gave Camilo a good chance from above the arc, and Keller had to be sharp to parry it wide.

Vancouver had another good chance at 14' when Shea Salinas squeezed between two defenders to get to a through ball. Keller started out, then stopped and was left to pray that Salinas would miss, and he did, firing a low shot inches wide.

Seattle's first good shot came at 20' when Alonso got a cleared corner kick, thigh-trapped it, and volleyed a shot at the top shelf. Goalkeeper Joe Cannon touched it just over the bar. A minute later a cross was deflected into the goal area for a reaching stab by Fredy Montero, resulting in a chip over Cannon and just over the bar.

29' VAN: Hassli (PK). A long diagonal ball to Camilo let him enter the penalty area and take on James Riley. Camilo cut back and in came Alonso to help, but Alonso came in too far and his boot hit Camilo's boot as Camilo was on the run. Down went Camilo and referee Mark Geiger immediately pointed to the spot. Hassli chipped the penalty kick into the top center of goal as Keller committed to a dive. 1-0 Vancouver.

The next chance came nine minutes later when Salinas found space to shoot up the middle from 25 yards, forcing Keller to parry it wide.

For Seattle, Montero had a couple of opportunities in the 39th minute. From 15 yards he missed the target, then from 25 yards his low shot was an easy save for Cannon.

In the final minute of the half Seattle forward Mike Fucito split two defenders to win a short through pass from Rosales. Fucito was knocked down from behind by Alain Rochat as Fucito tried to chip a shot and the shot went wide. Although Fucito fell in the penalty area, the foul, if it had been called, was in the arc and would have resulted in a free kick from just outside the 18.

Seattle looked best to start the second half. After Montero's shot from 20 yards was handled, the free kick was defended over the bar for a corner. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado rose to head the corner kick down and it missed the far post by inches.

Around the hour mark Seattle brought in the big striker, Nate Jaqua, and Miguel Montaņo took over the left side, where Lamar Neagle had not been very effective.

Neither side could threaten much for the next 20 minutes, then the goals came rapidly.

81' SEA: Rosales. Tyson Wahl curled a cross towards Jaqua on the near-post run. Mouloud Akloul tried to head the ball wide, but he headed it down in front of Rosales, who was on the far-post run. Rosales beat his marker to the ball and beat Cannon with a low shot. 1-1.

84' SEA: Alonso. Alonso won a loose ball near the arc, then beat two defenders with a step to the left. His left-footed low shot had plenty of speed and beat Cannon to the lower right corner. 2-1 Seattle.

85' VAN: Hassli. Hassli got his chance when Hurtado passed to Alonso from the corner and Alonso misplayed the ball, deflecting it to Hassli. The striker cut past Alonso to the right and volleyed a hard shot that dipped into the top far corner, an incredible goal that will surely be goal of the week. 2-2.

Two minutes later Montero had the last shot of the match from 25 yards out, but he missed the target by yards. Four minutes were added, but nobody could earn a chance to break the draw.

          SEA  VAN
Shots:     14   11
Saves:      3    3
Corners:    6    1
Fouls:     14   13
Offsides:   1    1

45' VAN: Rochat cautioned for chopping down Rosales
45' SEA: Alonso cautioned for dissent
55' VAN: Camilo cautioned for a tactical foul on Riley
71' VAN: Leathers cautioned for delaying a throw-in

Referees: Mark Geiger; Eric Boria, Steven Taylor; Ismail Elfath

Attendance: 36,502

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

Opening statement: "I thought we had more of the game for most of the night. Obviously we fell behind on the penalty kick. I thought we had a bunch of good chances, half chances. I thought we were around the goal. I thought the soccer we played at times was very good. We eventually got the lead 2-1, then we made a mistake in the back and Hassli hits an unbelievable shot. So you walk away 2-2, but on the gist of the game, I thought we were the better team."

On final goal: "The quality of goal was magnificent, but it should have never gotten to that position on the field. We had the ball. The ball came off our guy. There was no assist on the goal I would assume, unless they're giving our guy an assist. When you have the ball there, it's late in the game, you're winning 2-1, you have to get the ball out."

On emotions in the final minutes: "It's obviously a rollercoaster. You go up and down a little bit."

On game representing progress or a step back: "I thought the soccer we played was good. I thought we were attacking. I thought we were going forward. In the second half we switched Mauro out to the right side because we thought he was having a lot of success there. I thought the soccer we played at times was very good. We were patient. We knocked the ball around in the back when we had to. We opened the game up. Our service could have been better. I think we could have been a little sharper in the box. Jaqua could have had a bigger impact for us coming in, but outside of that, I thought it was OK."

On PK given and the PK not given: "I can't talk to the referee when he runs off the field and he's afraid to talk to me. Obviously he waited and made detours to shake their players' hands. But twice, both at halftime and at the end of the game, he knew I wanted to talk to him and he just walked away, so obviously he must have felt bad."

On Fredy Montero starting again: "We thought he deserved another opportunity. I thought he played with a lot of energy. I thought he played well. I thought he had some very good looks, especially in the first half that he needed to finish. He's been a little bit unfortunate, but hopefully they'll go in soon."

On Mauro Rosales: "I thought he was good. Thought he was sharp. He was a handful for them. I thought he was very effective on the right. He continued to get crosses in, that's one of the reasons we came with Jaqua, thinking that we're getting so many opportunities to cross the ball and eventually Jaqua got a flick that sort of helped us on our first goal. But we thought we could have taken advantage of that a little bit more."

On Osvaldo Alonso's goal: "It's good. He gets a lot of shots from that place and it was good to see the ball go in. It was sort of a risky situation because we were probably 2v1 at the other end of the field, so if the shot gets blocked we're scrambling a little bit. But it didn't get blocked and it went in, and hopefully that will give him confidence. Alonso works extremely hard and does great things all the time. Sometimes simplicity helps you get out of a certain situation, but certainly the goal was well taken."

On a perhaps unorthodox forward pairing of Montero and Fucito: "I thought they were effective. Maybe one forward has to be over 6-foot to make it an orthodox pairing. I don't know. I don't think that's the case. I don't think Barcelona has a player over 6-foot playing up there. It's a matter of guys being active and guys putting the other defense on their heels. Fucito was in in the first half and got pushed from behind as he was about to shoot but it's not a PK, so he had a good look. Fredy Montero had some good looks. Rosales was getting there as well. Neagle played well in the first half. I thought the front four in that regard was pretty good."

Kasey Keller

On Eric Hassli's equalizing goal in the 85th minute: "That's as nice a goal as you're ever going to see. He's obviously been one of the top guys in the league this season. He's a great player for them and he scored a great goal for them at a great time in a big game."

On the penalty kick that was awarded to Vancouver: "There was a lot of bodies in my way. It looked like a penalty. But in the same right, if that's a penalty then Mike's is a penalty as well at the other end. So sometimes you get them, sometimes you don't. But in the end we came back, we fought, we didn't quit, we made some subs. Nate came on and made a difference. Mauro got his first goal. Great. Ozzie makes up for the penalty with a good goal and then unfortunately their goal happens and then everyone goes away a little disappointed. Let's not forget that 80 minutes into the game we're down one-nil and then somehow we come back and have a chance to win it. And that's just frustrating that you do battle like hell to get in the lead and we concede so quickly after. But I guess if you have to concede a goal, you concede something like that."

On conceding the goal so soon after scoring one of their own: "I think statistically throughout world football, it happens. You're celebrating a goal you just scored and mentally, I mean you talk all you want about, 'You have to do this, you have to do that,' but there's so much jubilation in a goal that sometimes it's just hard to get back refocused. It happens more often than we'd all like to admit, especially when it happens to you. At the same time, it took something special, something extremely special, but unfortunately something that was very preventable. And hopefully we learn it."

Mauro Rosales

On the result: "When we score the second goal, we have to control the game and get three points. It was unlucky that they got a draw in the game."

On how it changed his game when Nate Jaqua subbed in and added some height to the field: "We can play more from the outside and we can give crosses to him because he's tall. With Mike and Fredy, they are not so tall and the crosses have to be a little (lower) than for Nate Jaqua. So it was a little bit better to play more outside in the game and we get the spacing."

On what the emotions were like at the end of the game to get the lead then concede the goal: "Yeah, it was a little bit of frustration in the last part because we worked very hard. We were waiting for the goals and when the goals came we did the difficult part to change a game and then unlucky on the play with Jhon and Ozzie and we give the chance for them to score. But what a goal, unbelievable."

On scoring his first MLS goal: "About my goal, I am very happy because it was the first one and in Qwest Field. I was not waiting for the goal because I am too far when I am making the cross and making the free kicks, I'm too far from the post. But then I get a chance and it was very good for the team to make a step to win the game. It was unlucky in the last five minutes."

Osvaldo Alonso

On the goal he scored: "It was a beautiful goal. It gave us the lead for a little while but unfortunately, I'm unhappy that it did not end up being the victory goal."

On taking shots from that spot often and if he thinks this will give him confidence to keep taking that shot: "I always try from outside and in the first half I also had an opportunity like that and it always motivates me to keep shooting from outside so I'll keep doing it."

James Riley

What do you make of how this ended?: "I'm speechless for sure. That's an absolutely unbelievable goal. Obviously we're a bit upset because we think we gave them that opportunity. I thought we could've closed the game out. We did well to battle and said at halftime if we got one we were going to get the second and we did. We battled. We fought. They didn't quit. It comes off our mistake and we're sitting in the locker room like it's a loss instead of celebrating a derby victory."

On how Hassli's goal changes how you walk away from this one: "It's been an unbelievable high and an unbelievable low. I mean I've lost the MLS Cup on something exactly like that. I mean, where we scored a goal and went up 1-0 and then they equalize right away right off the kickoff. So it's definitely a dagger. I think the biggest thing is they didn't really create it. We defended well and one bad mistake gives him an opportunity and a window to hit it and he strikes a wonder goal. Obviously we have to take it with a grain of salt and get back to work but definitely it stings for sure to be up 2-1 and work that hard and press for the equalizer and then to go ahead. We'll learn from it."

What do you learn?: "There's good things: how to come back from 1-0, stay calm and stay positive, and continue to get looks, and continue to put guys in good spots. When you go ahead, now you have to learn how to close things out and defend it. It's safety versus risk. Where do we play when we have a team that presses, that's capable and has speed and are dynamic? It's just one of those things, going back to fundamentals. Safety versus risk."

Brad Evans

Does the quality of Hassli's goal affect how you weigh the result?: "No. It should have never happened. That's the bottom line. Period. It should have never happened. Regardless of quality, it's something that never should have happened. Simple as that."

Vancouver Whitecaps

Tom Soehn - Head Coach

On his overall thoughts on the match: "Anytime you come to Seattle there is difficult circumstance to deal with. This is a fantastic crowd and I thought we did a good job staying compact and organized. We got a goal in the first half and came in pretty pleased. I figured Sigi would have them all ready to come out and play the second half. To their credit they did a good job of keeping the ball in the second half. Going down [2-1] I credit our guys for coming back and getting the second one. We had players step up and Eric had a great goal."

On his thoughts regarding his team's second goal: "Some people might not be sure if he meant to shoot it from there, but we see him everyday and he pulls off shots like that all the time. He has one thing on his mind and that is scoring goals."

On the momentum swings during the match: "I was here with D.C. United and it was 3-3. This place tends to have a lot of emotional swings. Our guys put a lot into it and we are a bit disappointed to not come away with more but we can take a lot of positives from this one."

On starting off the MLS rivalry between Vancouver and Seattle: "There is a lot of respect between the two teams. You can tell there is a build up of energy between the clubs and I think this will be a positive for the Northwest."

Eric Hassli

On his thoughts regarding the second goal: "I closed my eyes and shot. I had a lot of luck there. It works so that is why I do it."

On the ranking of the second goal in his career: "I think it is the best goal."

On assessing his play so far during the season: "We practice hard and that is where the results are coming from. We are starting to build more chemistry, playing together more and starting to connect. Hopefully we will start seeing the results."

On the support from the traveling fans: "Incredible to see them with the flags and the singing along with everything else. It really helps us."

On dedicating his first goal to the fans: "Yes. They came all this way; even though we didn't get the best result we really appreciate it."