Vissel Kobe 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders Universiade Stadium, Kobe, Japan Jinno (V) '60 Fry (S) '67 Fry (S) '82This match report comes to us courtesy of Ron Webster. Ron is a fellow Seattlite currently working in Kobe, Japan. Thanks for the great report Ron! An "official" press release match report is also available.
Vissel Kobe GK 1 Ryuji Ishizue D 2 Hiroshi Matsuda D 7 Masahiro Wada D 26 Toshihiro Yoshimura D 19 Naoki Mori MF 10 Thomas Bickel MF 23 Jun Naito (77' Masaki Tsukano) MF 45 Jan Jvnsson (82' Hiroki Azuma) MF 11 Takuya Jinno F 9 Tlemcani Ahmed Ziad F 13 Akihiro Nagashima
Seattle Sounders GK 18 Marcus Hahnemann D 2 Billy Crook (86' Scotti) D 15 Bernie James D 5 James Dunn D 3 Doug Morrill MF 4 Neil Megson MF 11 Jeff Bartts MF 6 Dick McCormick MF 7 Bialek (55' Daligcon) F 10 Jason Dunn F 9 Chance Fry
Weather Conditions: Overcast and mild, 55 deg at game time, 6:30 pm
Att: app. 1,000
3rd Minute-Megson had a nice through ball from Crook but he couldn't control and by the time he did his shot from the right was deflected past the end line for a corner. McCormick's weak corner was easily cleared.
4th-Vissel's offside trap effectivly catches Seattle offsides. It was the second time already.
5th-Vissel likes to cross the ball in from the middle of the field across to the top of the box and in their first attempt of the day Bickel's lob is a little long for Nagashima and goes past the endline for a goal kick.
7th-A through ball to Fry catches the Vissel defense off-guard but Ishizue scrambles to the ball before Fry can chip it over him.
9th-Ziad had the ball 20 meters from goal with room to go toward goal after a nifty pass but instead chooses to give goal a shot. He's shot drifts well over goal.
11th-The sun is totally down and the lights fully illuminate the field. The temp. begins to drop and the wind picks up at Vissel's back.
13th-Bickel sends in a nice cross from right to left to Ziad 5 meters from goal. Ziad's leaping ability gets him over James but Hahnemann is in good position and makes a nice save.
16th-Poor clearance from the Seattle defense gives Vissel a corner which Hahnemann easily grabs from the air.
18th-Vissel was unlucky not to score on this one. On a free kick set play, Bickel sent a little chip to Ziad 5 meters from goal with Marcus to beat. Ziad went for the top left corner and instead sent his header about 2 meters over the top. Definetly a sitter that should have made it 1-0.
18:49-On Hahnemann's goal kick, Jason Dunn won the header and forwarded the ball to Bialek who had only the keeper to beat. Sadly, he couldn't control and by the time he did the keeper was at his feet and the ball in his hands.
21st-Referee calls a poor foul on Jason Dunn and Vissel has a free kick 25 yards from goal on the left. No problem on the free kick and the ball is cleared.
24th-Bialek earns a foul after running over Bickel and Vissel gets another free kick around 20 meters to the left of goal. Again Hahnemann answers. At this point in the match, it's all Vissel Kobe.
26th-Error by Mori gives the ball to Fry who has open ground in front to try a 15 meter shot. Instead, he chose to pass to the wing and found nobody. Whoops!
28th-Nagashima one-times a nice curling kick from around 20 meters that looks like the corner of the net...until Hahnemann stretches and pushes the ball to the side. Nice shot, nice save.
29th-Jinno one-times and again Hahnemann answers
30th-Bialek works a nice 1-on-1 move and gets clear on the left. Sadly, his cross is not touched and runs through, but things are looking up for the Sounders. Better control in the midfield and longer possessions.
32nd-Jinno finds Nagashima breaking toward goal but his effort puts the ball just wide right.
34th-Corner kick Vissel. Jinno chip rolls to Wada who beats Hahnemann but whose shot hits the left post and rolls away past the end line. Best chance so far.
38th-Hahnemann pokes out a cross directly to Jinno whose one-timer was unlucky to strike his own player on the way to goal. Cleared with no trouble after that. Hahnemann starts to give his backline the business.
40th-Megson finds Bialek breaking alone on the right but Bialek can't control and when he finally gets a chip off Ishizue does well to deflect the ball over the end line to the right. Bialek is doing a lot of good work but is having trouble with the finish.
41st-McCormick should have earned the first Yellow Card for taking out the ankles of a Vissel player, but it's a friendly, right?
43rd-Two minutes before the half and Vissel is pushing hard. Bickel's shot from 15 meters is hard and right at Hahnemann. Hahnemann pokes the ball to the ground from head level and then covers the ball from the onrushing Vissel. Nice play but a little risky.
43:50-Bernie James does earn the first yellow card for hacking Ziad 15 meters outside the box on the right. On the free kick, Ziad's header is deflected out the back for a corner. By this time the 45 minutes have expired and everyone expects a Vissel goal with all this pressure. The corner is sent in and Hahnemann handles easily.
2nd Half-Maybe 3 deg. colder and winds at 5-10 mph, gusts to 20, at Seattle's back
4th-Both teams having a hard time finding their feet and many early errors made, but none costly.
7th-Mysterious offsides on Seattle.
8th-Bialek's cross into the box from the right is effective when McCormick fakes a header and Jason Dunn is alone. By the time he's ready, the defense is too. Cleared away.
10th-Daligcon in for Bialek
11th-Seattle corner poorly cleared and the ball falls to Crook on the top edge of the box. His turn and shoot is nicely done but goes over the top to the right.
12th-Vissel comes right back and Naito spots Nagashima racing toward goal on the left. Beautiful cross that Nagashima touches toward goal from 2 meters. Hahnemann leaps to his right post but he is surely beaten. So was Nagashima. His shot bumped the left post and the ball rolled over the touch line. Lucky again for us.
14th-Vissel counters quickly with Jinno streaking down the right side alone and Ziad rushing toward the goal mouth. Jinno's perfect pass finds Ziad's right foot at 5 meters out and Hahnemann has no chance, beaten to his left. Vissel 1, Sounders 0.
18th-Crook and Bartts way out of sync and giving the ball away too much. Too much miscommunication.
19th-Morrill makes a near tragic mistake as his easy clearance is pushed from the side into the middle of the field at the top of the box, where Jinno was idly waiting. Jinno had more time to think about it, but his quick shot went directly at Hahnemann. Lucky again.
21st-Sounders find the net! A nifty bit of passing in the midfield finds an open Sounder on the left. His cross finds Fry among a bunch of players and his header is perfectly placed, low and to the right. Not powerful from 8 meters but strong enough to get by Ishizue. After the goal, Fry ran to the Seattle bench, shared hugs and then proceeded to bow to the Kobe crowd who cheered his efforts. Vissel 1, Sounders 1
23rd-A sudden rash of poor calls by the Japanese referee begins. This one gives Vissel a free kick 25 meters from goal which luckily Bickel shanked badly.
24th-Another mystery call which sets up a free kick on the left corner of the penalty area. The kick comes in and the ref calls a penalty and gives a yellow to Morrill. I really have no idea what the infraction was (maybe an unintentional hand ball?) but a penalty it was. The crowd was as stunned as I when Nagashima's penalty soared 3 feet over the bar to the right. How many breaks could we get?
26th-Jason Dunn finds himself alone. Daligcon got free from a defender and did well to find Dunn. Dunn faced quick pressure and couldn't get the shot on goal. Ball cleared but nice work from Daligcon.
27th-Vissel's cross from Naito cleared nicely by McCormick who begins to step up and want the ball.
29th-Daligcon does some nice ball control on the left and finds McCormick whose one-timer is cleared away.
30th-Well played 2nd half and truly anybody's game.
31st-Ziad gets Vissel's first yellow for an accidental elbow on James while fighting for a header.
32nd-Tsukano in for Naito
34th-Vissel's cross is cleared by James Dunn over the end line. Corner kick. Hahnemann soars high to catch the cross.
35th-Hahnemann's boot from the previous cross is headed by a Vissel defender all the way over the end line which set up a Seattle corner.
36:17-McCormick's corner is low, but driving, and catches a Vissel defender a little off guard. His clear sends the ball to the top of the box where Fry traps the ball with his back to the goal, turns and fires on his turn. His shot went like a frozen rope as it curled to the high, right-back corner of the net and let it be said that gasps were heard in the crowd after that ringer. The Sounder bench exploded off their seats and everyone met Fry on his way to the bench. The crowd gave a great cheer to Fry as he once again bowed to the crowd. Eight minutes from time. Vissel 1, Sounders 2
37th-Azuma in for Jvnsson
38th-Vissel strikes right back and Ziad has a chance, but Sounders clear.
39th-Once again I am impressed with Daligcon's offensive and defensive skills as he slides and clears a possible chance to the side and out for a throw-in.
41st-Scotti in for Crook
42nd-Ziad takes a dive 20 meters out on the left and the ref buys it. Free kick cleared as McCormick is solid in the middle with James.
45:30-Vissel pressing but not getting anywhere. Tight defense on the left where Vissel wants to cross from. Morrill, Daligcon and McCormick saving the day.
47th-Final Whistle. Vissel 1, Sounders 2!!
All in all an exciting game to watch and even though the crowd was small the Vissel Ultras made sure everyone had a good time. After the game the teams exchanges jerseys and the Sounders threw pins and bumper stickers in the crowd. I even yelled at Ron Callan and told him to say hi to everyone in Seattle. He's kind of goofy lookin'. The kids loved the Sounder players and thought they were some Gods from beyond or something. It's sad to see the old Sounders break up, but these guys really impressed me. They have heart and they wear it on their sleeve. Here's hoping they have a great year and I'll be back for a month in July/August to Seattle so make sure they know you love 'em. Here are some player ratings.
GK Hahnemann 8 Saved our butts more than once. His goal kicks were also very effective. D Crook 4.5 Nothing spectacular and had some problems with Vissel's speed D James 6 A little slow to react and always laying back but his size came in handy against the smaller Vissel. Nice game. D James Dunn 5 Nothing really to mention, good or bad D Morrill 5 Had a bad first half, but made it up with solid defense down the stretch MF Megson 5.5 Quite honestly, he was great when needed to make the nice pass but kind of absent from where the ball was. Almost a non-entity. MF Bartts 5. See Megson. Couldn't see the wings very well when opportunities knocked. MF McCormick 6 Solid defensively and offensively. Looked a little tired at times but really picked it up in the end. MF Bialek 6 Has great one on one ability, like Hattrup, but doesn't have the ability to control the ball and get off a quality shot like Peter can. Could be a real asset this season for the Sounders. F Jason Dunn 5.5 Jason did well on controlling Hahnemann's long balls and distributing to the midfielders, but had good chances in front where he couldn't pull the trigger. Nothing to worry about though. F Chance Fry 7 Honestly, except for the two goals, you'd never notice him. He lulled the defense to sleep and didn't take too many chances and when he saw a good one he pounced. Result-2 goals. A Seattle legend getting better and better. Thanks for the visit Chance! MF Daligcon 7 Look out for this guy. He controlled the ball when necessary. He moved the ball toward goal with speed and agility when necessary. He did what was asked of him. (And, no, he doesn't look Brazilian to me!) D Scotti * Not enough time to grade
Sorry this isn't a very thorough report, I was having too much fun at the game!
[Ed.: I hope Ron never reads any of my match reports. They pale in comparision to his not "very thorough" report!]