SEATTLE 1 - 1 ATLANTA(Seattle wins Shootout) Soebye (A) '3 Farrell (S) '81 Attendance: 5,115What a night it was! Up until the eighty-second minute, this game was absolute aggravation. Nearly eighty full minutes of Sounders offense pounding the Atlanta box to no avail. That Farrell goal beautifully relieved the tension.
One thing I was really impressed with was how clean the lads kept the match to the very end. They had to be getting pretty nervous and irritable. Playing against 10 defenders has got to get you down.
My heart nearly broke when Suri had that open net sitting in front of him. How did he miss that? Thanks the Lords of Football that he did...
It was truly poetic justice that we won in a shootout. Although a real win would have been more to our liking, the pitch invasion and after-match party was quite satisfying. These were the lineups:
Seattle: #18 Marcus Hahnemann, #19 James Dunn (68 #13 Jason
Farrell), #4 Neil Megson, #6 Billy Crook, #20 Marco Rizi, #26 David Hoggan,
#5 Dominic Kinnear, #11 Shawn Medved, #10 Peter Hattrup, #14 Jason Dunn
(84 #21 Brian Haynes), #9 Chance Fry.
Atlanta: #1 Young Yi, #3 John Doyle, #4 Bruce Murray, #17 Martin, #12 Wurdack, #8 Lenin Steenkamp, #19 Tag Gambatese, #16 Sheen, #5 Huwiler (78 #11 M. Suri), #9 Moore, #10 Staale Soebye.
I've rounded up a couple commentaries:
This comes from Atlanta fan Chris Allen:
Shootout Hoggan x o Soebye Hattrup x o Moore Megson o o Suri Kinnear o x Doyle o "Lenin"It's late here on the "Right Coast" so I'll leave the lineups and match reports to you guys in "Latte-Land" after you finish celebrating. Hey, what's the beverage of choice for a championship in Seattle, a double Cappuccino? :-)
+++ I was was drinking Hales Bitter. Mr. Coker was enjoying a few Dry Blackthorns. Hanhnemann was drinking Pyramid out of his silver MVP cup! +++
Congratulations to the Sounders for playing well both in the playoffs and throughout the season. I really thought the Ruckus would hold on after the early goal that shocked both Seattle and Atlanta, but by the early part of the second half I figured it was only a matter of time before the equalizer came.
However, you really must admit that Seattle should have lost after Suri beat Hahnemann in the 85th and had a wide open net and hit the post from less than 6 yards! Well, I better stop now before this sounds like "sour grapes", which it isn't. Clearly Seattle was the better team, but I was proud of the way my first year Ruckus hung in there and went as far as they did.
Of course, were it not for the CrapShootouts, the Ruckus wouldn't even have made the playoffs. I guess if you live by the sword, you die by the sword, right? :-)
It was interesting, in a post game interview on PRIME, that Bruce Murray intimated that the A-League coaches (other than the Ruckus' Lothar Osiander, that is) want to dump the CrapShootout! I really think that extra time would have seen a deciding goal in this one and have settled this on the pitch like it should have been!
A nice celebration followed the game and PRIME stayed with this -- and the presentations of trophies -- until the conclusion. Surprisingly missing from all these festivities was the A-League's Commissioner Richard Groff. Did any of you at the game see him there?
+++ I too was surprised by his absence. +++
Well I got home from my own practice at 11:00 and turned on HTS and lo and behold it was the A-League final game of the series. It was 1-0 Alanta with about 20 minutes left in the game. Seattle was putting on some incredible pressure, and from what the announcers were saying, things were different in the first half. The Atlanta defense was doing well as was the goalie but eventually something had to give and it was Atlanta.
A cross came in from the left side and Farrell (I think) came in on a great angle and headed the ball past Yi into the far right side of the goal. Yi was completely frozen in goal and didn't even move as the ball went by him. Seattle was pumped to say the least and kept the pressure up. I'll give some credit to Atlanta, with about ten minutes left with the game tied, they didn't go into their defensive shell and wait it out for the shootout. They actually produced the better oportunities in the closing minutes an should have won the game in regulation.
Mo Suri has to be so low right now it's not even funny. With time running out a long through ball beat the Seattle defense. Hahanaman came rushing out to clear the ball but was beaten to it by Mo Suri. Mo with a defender on his back went to goal and then niftily cut the ball back as his defender slipped. He had an open goal with the goalie and another Seattle defender closing fast so he puts it near post, except instead of the ball going in IT HITS THE POST and bounces across the goal. Another Atlanta attacker comes in from the other side but is stuffed by the keeper the game remains a tie.
Some may argue that the placement of Suri's shot was all he had but IMHO he could have almost dribbled into the goal. Hahanaman wasn't going to catch and the other Seattle defender when the ball hit the post was still running into the goal. Suri could have dribbled to his right and had a much easier time of putting the ball away. Pro's shouldn't miss shots like that. I will go as far as to say that at the pro level anywhere else in the world that ball is a goal no doubt about it. That ball was more than a sitter, it was a championship waiting to happen. Sorry Mo but ya blew it big time. Hi, Mo Suri, MLS on the phone, saw you choke on that gimme, too bad well enjoy the rest of your career in the rec league's.
Oh yeah, the game ended 1-1 which of course means the dreaded shootout. HTS flashed all of the stats on how good Atlanta is in the shootout and how Seattle has never beaten Atlanta in the shootout. They should like two or three times which as we all know is an automatic jinx.
Atlanta shot first and missed. Seattle scored, then I don't really remember the next few except Kinnear skying his shot and knowing that it came down to the final kickers for both teams. Seattle scored on their final shot and Atlanta's Lenin Steenkamp was up, the man who hadn't missed all season in the shootout, which as we all know is an automatic jinx. Steenkamp dribbled, shot and Hahanaman makes a great save and then realizes that the Sounders have won it and goes racing off, pandemonium breaks out and the crowd flows onto the field. It was a great post game scene with all of the fans celebrating and the Sounders mingling with them and enjoying the whole thing.