2012 Sep 29

Offenses stymied in Vancouver

Vancouver Whitecaps  0 - 0  Seattle Sounders FC

BC Place, Vancouver, BC


Vancouver: Brad Knighton; Lee Young-Pyo, Andy O'Brien, Jay DeMerit, Jordan Harvey; Gershon Koffie, Alain Rochat, Barry Robson, John Thorrington (Matt Watson 17'); Kenny Miller, Darren Mattocks (Camilo 42').
Substitutes not used: Joe Cannon, Martin Bonjour, Jun-Marques Davidson, Atiba Harris, Russell Teibert.

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez; Mauro Rosales (Steve Zakuani 70'), Osvaldo Alonso, Christian Tiffert, Brad Evans (Andy Rose 74'); Fredy Montero, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Andrew Weber, Marc Burch, Zach Scott, Mario Martinez, Sammy Ochoa.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps played to a scoreless draw to end their season series up North. The defenses limited chances and the offenses failed to convert the few good chances that came their way.

Swarming defenses prevented any chances in the first ten minutes, then finally a Seattle attack gave Osvaldo Alonso a shot up the middle that missed the goal by a half yard and hit goalkeeper Brad Knighton's water bottle. After Vancouver took the first corner kick of the match, the Seattle counterattack ended with Mauro Rosales' cross for Brad Evans, just out of his reach. Fredy Montero later tried a long shot, forcing the first save of the match.

Vancouver had a chance at 30' after a Seattle turnover, and Jeff Parke defended well to keep a forward pass from reaching Darren Mattocks near the right post. Vancouver's only promising shots in the first half came late, with Gershon Koffie and Jordan Harvey missing by yards with long shots.

Vancouver had to use two substitutions in the first half as John Thorrington and Mattocks left with injuries. Mattocks' injury happened when goalkeeper Michael Gspurning slid into him while collecting a loose ball near the 18-yard line.

Camilo opened the second half for Vancouver with a good shot from 20 yards, and Gspurning had it covered. Alain Rochat's long, swerving blast up the middle was more trouble for Gspurning, but he managed to knock it away with one hand. Matt Watson and Koffie missed their shots by yards. Watson's next chance from just inside the 18 was deflected wide for a corner kick.

At 80' Seattle finally started getting some chances in the half. Parke knocked a Seattle corner kick on goal, but it was easily cleared by Lee Young-Pyo at the post.

For Seattle, Eddie Johnson forced a save, then he couldn't reach enough of a cross to get a header on frame.

For Vancouver, Kenny Miller had a chance from inside the penalty area at 87' and sent it a yard wide of the lower far corner.

The best chances came at the very end, starting with a Steve Zakuani shot at 89' from the top of the arc that was well saved by Knighton. At 90' Rochat shot up the middle from a broken corner kick play and Gspurning dove on it for the save.

In added time, Seattle's last chance came from a nice cross by Christian Tiffert to Montero for a turn and shoot that was well defended, forcing the shot wide.

Probably the best chance of the match was Camilo's when a deflected cross found it's way to him on the right, and with a defender and the goalkeeper charging he missed the lower far corner by inches.

With the point from the draw, the Sounders clinched a playoff spot. The Whitecaps are still in the hunt for a playoff berth.

The Cascadia Cup will depend heavily on next week's Seattle-Portland match. Portland can take the cup with a draw in Seattle or a win in Vancouver.

          VAN   SEA
Shots:     16    13
Saves:      3     3
Corners:    9     4
Fouls:     11    17
Offsides:   3     1

49' VAN: Harvey cautioned for running Rosales over from behind
55' SEA: Parke cautioned for a late collision with Camilo

Referees: Silviu Petrescu; Frank Anderson, Jeff Hosking; Alejandro Mariscal

Attendance: 21,000

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On making the playoffs: "Obviously we've done a lot of work all season, so it's great to finally have that officially secured, but our goal is still to get second place so we're disappointed in not getting three points today. At the end of the game they had a fantastic chance with Camilo so we can be fortunate that we didn't walk out down. We had some chances as well, the deflected shot by Zakuani could easily have gone in as well, we had a couple of other shots as well but Knighton came up with some saves."

On the team's first shutout in some time: "I'm encouraged by the shutout. I think the quality of our crosses sometimes weren't as good as they needed to be. We needed to get in a little deeper with our crosses, they would have been more effective. Also bringing guys back in like Mauro who missed a few weeks, it takes them a little bit of time to get rhythm but his effort was great and what he gave us was fantastic. I thought in the first 45 minutes I thought we were very good. I thought we played very well for the opening 45."

On the Whitecaps' play today: "They played a lot of good balls and they were able to win second balls and keep the pressure on. You expect that from a team when they are at home and they are battling for a spot in the playoffs."

On the inability to score a goal: "There's not a lot that separates teams in this league. [The Whitecaps] put forth a very good defensive effort and there were a couple of times where we had chances throughout the game. We created chances; if we hadn't created chances than I would be more concerned."

Mauro Rosales

On not being able to score: "We have to work a little bit more. Today I think we had the chances. I think we had the possession of the game during the 90 minutes. It was a pity that we couldn't score and we couldn't take the three points. We came for that and we couldn't. Disappointed for that, but we have to keep working (for the) next game. We know that we are in the playoffs with that point, but it's not enough. We came here for the three points and we hope the next game we can win at home against Portland for our fans. That is something that we wanted. We have to work for that."

You got through the game OK?: "Yeah, I finished it very good. I feel very good about the minutes that I've been in the game. I really wanted to keep playing, but OK, I have to build a little more fitness for the next game."

Michael Gspurning

On the late miss by Camilo: "Yeah, my heartbeat was a little bit high at this moment. I think you can't say that both teams didn't want to win this game, but in the end one point I think is for both teams. We reached the playoffs, but we wanted three points today. You have to take the positive thing from it -- that's the shutout. We keep working and next week we have another important game. Let's go on for next week."

What changed in the second half as they saw more of the ball?: "Exactly, I think first half we had more possession of the ball and we were the better team. Second half, that changed a little bit. Yeah, it's tough now to say why it happened, but in the end, the draw is the result of this game."

On next week's game vs. Portland: "We have to win. No excuses. We all know this. The whole week we will be focused on this game on Sunday."

On the positive of getting a shutout: "Of course, this is the most positive thing. You're on the road and you have a shutout, that's always positive. If you told us before that we'd have a shutout, we all would be, 'Sure, OK, we will win this game,' because we always (score) one. But it didn't happen, so we have to accept this and ... keep working."

What were you thinking before Camilo's last shot?: "Nothing. Hopefully I'm big enough. I just tried to be as big as possible ... Of course it was a lot of luck, too, that he missed his chance."

Jeff Parke

Thoughts on the match: "We came in here to get the three points so it's a little bit disappointing. We didn't give up any goals. We had our chances, but we got the point we needed to get into the playoffs, so that's important. But we have some things that we have to work on, and we've got a couple more games leading up to the playoffs and hopefully we can get on a good run."

On the shutout: "As a group defensively it was a good game. We gave up a couple of chances, but at the end of the day we got the zero and it's important that we run with this and hopefully use this as confidence going into the next game and going on a little bit of run. We haven't had a shutout in a while so that's a good thing."

On his shot that was cleared off the line: "I knew it was going to get blocked. [Lee] was there on the post and I didn't get enough on it. He was in a good spot and I could only get a little piece of it but I knew it was going to get blocked. It wasn't really that hard of a shot. If I had my toe on it I might have had a better opportunity to score but he did a good job of putting himself in a good spot."

Vancouver Whitecaps

Martin Rennie - Head Coach

Thoughts on the game: "It was a good game and obviously, an exciting game. There were a lot of goalmouth incidents, and overall throughout the game we played well. The atmosphere was fantastic; soccer is becoming so big in North America. It's a privilege for us to be a part of it and I wish we could send our fans home with a little bit more excitement."

On making two first half substitutions: "It was difficult, but I thought the players that went on managed to find the rhythm of the game very quickly, which is sometimes hard to do. It just limited our opportunities to change the game in the second half with substitutions that we wanted to do, but the players that went on did very well."

On the progress of the team: "We defended well today, we look organized, and we gave up very few chances in the game. We possessed the ball well, we created good opportunities and we had a chance at the end to win the game, but I definitely saw progress and a lot to build on going forward."

Kenny Miller

Thoughts on the match: "It was a hard fought game. It was unfortunate for us at the end, but we're happy with the result. You set out a game plan and go out to get three points, but when you have two injuries in the first 25-30 minutes, it does kind of change that. I thought Matt came in and was superb and obviously Camilo had the opportunity at the end for us."

Andy O'Brien

Thoughts on the match: "From a defensive point of view, we kept a clean sheet which is obviously your objective before the game. I think we limited them to a few chances and we're disappointed we didn't score in the last few seconds, but that's soccer. Now we move onto the game on Wednesday."

Thoughts on the crowd: "It was fantastic. Our supporters have been magnificent since I've been here and no doubt have played a massive part for the success of the club this season. We have another three games and we need that support as much as ever and hopefully we can repay their faith for coming to watch us."

Thoughts on the clean sheet: "I thought the performance was generally good. We competed very well. It wasn't the prettiest spectacle at times, but I think you need to do that sometimes. It was just unfortunate we didn't get the three points. I felt comfortable with Martin when I played with him and Jay today. I thought collectively we did very well. People will say we kept a clean sheet, but like I said before the game, our strikers are our first defenders and I thought they were superb as well."

How he felt about his fitness: "Stiff. The importance of these games will get you through that and you can't make excuses. The adrenaline is what gets you through. We have three more games and the nitty gritty starts if we can get into the playoffs. There's a lot of pressure and a lot of energy needed before the end of the season."

Jay DeMerit

Thoughts on the match: "I think for us to get a clean sheet against a good Seattle team that scores a lot of goals is a major step for us in the right direction. Obviously, [there is] natural disappointment because we had chances to win the game, but they didn't fall for us tonight and we have to keep on going ... We keep looking for that something that will change it. We haven't found it yet, but we have three games to do it. I think the games can't come quick enough now. We're starting to hit a bit of a form and playing a lot better soccer on the field and the fans have helped us also. We're now looking forward to Wednesday. Three points is all we need."

Thoughts on the defense and Andy O'Brien returning: "I think what Andy brings is a wealth of experience and is someone who has been there and done it at the highest level for many years. When you combine that with someone who can communicates and is dependable, that means it's a good partnership. I thought we did well tonight considering we've never played together other than the Portland game. I thought we communicated and played well together as a partnership and that's a huge thing to build upon for Wednesday."

Thoughts on the clean sheet: "The clean sheet comes from the eleven, not just us four at the back. It's a team effort. If you look at the guys, there were a lot of tired bodies out there today. That's because we got behind the ball and did our work and we kept a good Seattle team scoreless. That's the main thing, we have to keep going and now we have to go find the net."