July 31, 1998

Minnesota Thunder  1 - 2  Seattle Sounders
National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota

34' Min: Zeba
49' Sea: Baena
58' Sea: Baena

Min: John Swallen; John Coughlin, Mark Abboud, John Menk, Don Gramenz; Kevin Anderson, Stoian Mladenov, Morgan Zeba, Tim Foster (70' Garfield Shaw); Gabe Garcia (73' Gerard Lagos), Amos Magee.

Sea: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Jason Annicchero, David Hoggan (69' Kei Kinoshita); Neil Megson (45' Paul Gelvezon), Scott Jenkins, Brandon Prideaux, Dick McCormick, Peter Hattrup (81' Ryan Edwards); Patrick Beech (64' Erik Storkson), Mark Baena.



Match report from Ron Stickney, based on the live radio broadcast on 1300 KOL-AM:
 
The Seattle Sounders fell behind the Minnesota Thunder 1-0 in the first half on a goal by midfielder Morgan Zeba, then won 2-1 on the strength of two goals early in the second half by Mark Baena. Whatever halftime speech coach Neil Megson used, he should save it. Megson seemingly made a good decision to bench himself after playing the first half Paul Gelvezon came on for Megson and picked up the assist on the first goal. Then Patrick Beech set up Baena's match winner.

After the two goals, Minnesota dominated the last half hour of the match but Seattle's defense withstood the onslaught and escaped with the victory.

First Half

Amos Magee, the A-League's leading scorer, got Minnesota's attack going early with a pair of shots in the first two minutes. The first was headed just over the bar and the second was well saved by Dusty Hudock.

Peter Hattrup took Seattle's first shot at 17', a chip shot from 20 yards that just missed the far post.

For the Thunder, Gabe Garcia beat sweeper Bernie James and shot at the far post, with Hudock diving to make the save. Magee juked a defender to shot from the arc but sent it just over the bar.

34' Zeba (Garcia). Minnesota took the 1-0 lead when Garcia held Mark Abboud's cross on the left side, then sent the ball to the penalty spot. Morgan Zeba ran in to net the ball with his first touch, scoring his first goal of the season.

The goal kicked the Sounders' offense into gear. Within a minute Beech crossed for Baena, whose shot was too high.  Two minutes later Beech tried a shot from a steep angle, forcing Swallen's first save.

Minnesota had a chance to add a goal when a Seattle clearance was sent back in giving Magee a chance for a one-touch shot in front of the goal, but he shot too high.

Seattle nearly leveled the score in the 42nd when Beech took Brandon Prideaux's cross at the 18, dribbled forward between two defenders, shot and hit the wrong side of the post.

Halftime:  Minnesota  1 - 0  Seattle

Gelvezon came on for Megson to strengthen the offense for the second half, and the move paid immediate dividends.

49' Baena (Gelvezon). Gelvezon intercepted a Minnesota pass in the left flank and crossed for Baena at the 18. Baena turned and shot and saw the ball deflect off defender John Coughlin and into the goal to level the score at 1-1.

58' Baena (Beech). It didn't take long for the Sounders to score again. This time Beech intercepted a weak pass just inside Seattle's half and sent an early through ball past three defenders for Baena to run onto. Baena took a couple of touches, then beat Swallen to the top near corner from 18 yards.

Seattle went into a defensive shell for the last 32 minutes and withstood Minnesota's pressure, using all four substitutions to replace tired legs with fresh ones. Zeba was just wide from 30 yards. Anderson's 30-yarder was pushed out by Hudock. Garcia, then Shaw, got shots from loose balls after a Minnesota corner kick, but both missed.

In the final minute with pressure peaking, James blocked a shot and the rebound led to the final shot, sent wide.

Final: Minnesota  1 -  2  Seattle

Statistics

Shots: Min 20, Sea 9
Saves: Swallen 1, Hudock 4
Corners: Min 8, Sea 2
Fouls: Min 4, Sea 18
Offside: Min 1, Sea 0

Misconduct:
36' Megson (Sea) cautioned for a collision with Foster
60' Hattrup (Sea) cautioned for something he said to the referee after a foul
62' Prideaux (Sea) cautioned for a hard foul

Referee: Zekaiakbay
Attendance: 7,479 (sixth largest crowd in Thunder history)