SEATTLE 3 - 2 KOBE Akihiro Nagashima (VK) '6 Shawn Medved (S) '21 Akihiro Nagashima (VK) '30 Kieran Barton (S) '77 Neil Megson (S) '80 Cards: none Attendance: 7,005This was one of the most enjoyable matches I've seen in a long time. The play was spirited but maintained its' friendly aire. It also presented us with a rare opportunity to see the Sounders' bench out on the pitch. The most obvious standout was Kieran Barton. His 40 yard rocket was a thing of beauty. I look forward to seeing more of his talents next season.
Seattle: #18 Marcus Hahnemann (GK), #19 James Dunn (38
#22 Kieran Barton), #4 Neil Megson, #6 Billy Crook (46 #3 Doug Morrill),
#17 John Doyle [guest player!], #26 David Hoggan (46 #15 Derek Crothers),
#24 Dominic Kinnear (30 #14 Jason Dunn; 38 #24 Kinnear), #11 Shawn Medved,
#10 Peter Hattrup (69 #7 Bernie James), #9 Chance Fry (46 #23 Erik Storkson),
#14 Jason Dunn (34 #13 Jason Farrell). Note: unlimited substitutions
Kobe: #1 Ryuji Ishizue (GK), #2 Hiroshi Matsuda, #26 Toshihiro Yoshimura, #8 ?, #32 ?, #3 Shigemitsu Egawa, #23 Jun Naito, #29 Kei Kinoshita, #5 ?, #19 Akihiro Nagashima, #10 Thomas Bickel (46 #28 Ohashi).
The Seattle Sounders were down 1-2 at the half, but scored twice in three minutes during the second half to defeat Vissel Kobe of the Japan Football League by a score of 3-2. This match marked the first time a professional soccer team from Japan played in the United States. All profits from the match were promised for Kobe's earthquake relief fund.
By the way, it was announced that highlights from this match will be televised on Prime Sports Northwest at 7:30 pm on Thanksgiving, November 23.
The match featured attacking soccer from both teams. Every Seattle goal was either assisted or scored by a defender. Kobe's well-executed offside trap caught the Sounders several times in the first half, but Seattle eventually adjusted.
I arrived at the game 10 minutes late and Kobe had already scored. I spotted a Sounders flag and grabbed an empty seat by Don Crafts. Don explained that the first goal came at 6 minutes after Seattle keeper Marcus Hahnemann kicked at and completely missed a ball passed back to him. Kobe's Akihiro Nagashima ran past Hahnemann and scored easily.
<---Ed. - I've never seen Marcus make such a stupid mistake, but at least he was laughing about it. --->
In the 16th, Vissel Kobe almost scored when a corner kick from the left side was headed sharply down toward the right post. Billy Crook was manning that post and cleared the ball from the goal line with his foot.
In the 21st, Sounder James Dunn sent Shawn Medved through on the right side with a nice pass forward. Medved dribbled in alone against keeper Ryuji Ishizue and beat him with a low, far-post shot, tying the game at 1-1.
Two minutes later, Medved got to another through ball just before keeper Ishizue and bounced the ball off Ishizue into open space left of the goal. Medved got to the loose ball first but a Kobe defender recovered to prevent a shot. Medved crossed instead to Jason Dunn, whose shot hit the right post. Shortly after that, Seattle threatened again on a counterattack by Peter Hattrup. Crook overlapped on the left, took Hattrup's pass, and crossed to Jason Dunn, who headed just wide right.
In the 30th, Nagashima got the ball with a lot of space to work in. He sent a nice pass to Thomas Bickel, who was running unmarked toward the right post. Bickel drew keeper Hahnemann, then passed back to Nagashima at the left post for the goal. Score 1-2 Vissel Kobe.
Jason Farrell and Kieran Barton came on for the Dunn brothers.
In the 39th, Nagashima just missed a first-half hat trick as his 30-yard shot just missed the upper left corner. A minute later, Atlanta Ruckus defender John Doyle, making a guest appearance for the Sounders, came forward for a corner kick but headed over the crossbar. Kobe put together a beautiful series of passes to successive overlappers, ending with a shot on goal from close in on the right side. Hahnemann deflected the shot and a Sounders defender cleared the ball from in front of the goal. On the counterattack, Sounder Chance Fry got a chance with a volley, but Ishizue made a great save, deflecting the shot out for a corner. At halftime, Kobe was up 1-2 and looking good.
The second half started with Erik Storkson, Derek Crothers, and Doug Morrill coming on for the Sounders and Ohashi coming on for Vissel Kobe. Hattrup got an early shot from a Farrell cross, but shot high. At 58 minutes, Kieran Barton overlapped on the right, took a pass from Farrell, and crossed to Storkson, who headed just wide right.
In the 60th, Hahnemann could only use his forearms to block a rocket of a Kobe shot. The ball rebounded to Barton, who cleared.
In the 69th, Sounder Bernie James came on for Hattrup. At 75 minutes, Dominic Kinnear injured himself in a challenge, for which he was called for a foul, and Jason Dunn reentered in his place. Kobe's free kick was just wide left.
At 77 minutes, Farrell received a corner kick and dropped to Barton, who shot a bullet from 40 yards into the upper right corner, beating a leaping Ishizue. Truly an awesome shot! Worth watching the highlights on Thanksgiving eve just to see this shot! This shot tied the game at 2-2.
Just 3 minutes later, after a Jason Dunn throw-in, the ball was dropped to Derek Crothers, who passed forward to Sounder defender Neil Megson, who had come forward for the deep throw-in. Megson dribbled toward the goal line and shot from the left side. A Kobe defender slid in trying to block the shot, but only deflected the ball into the goal. 3-2 Sounders!
In the last two minutes, Farrell crossed to Storkson for Seattle's last shot, easily saved. Kobe's last shot was a header over Hahnemann, but the shot hit the crossbar and bounced over. Final Seattle 3-2. A most enjoyable match!