Mobilio (V) 92
Sea: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Scott Jenkins, Brandon Prideaux, Jason Annicchero; Neil Megson (79' Stoner Tadlock), Kei Kinoshita, Fabian Davis, David Hoggan; Erik Storkson, Patrick Beech.
Van: Paul Dolan; Chris Franks, Steve MacDonald, Richie Sumner, Jeff Skinner; Craig Dalrymple, Paul Dailly, Ian Clarke (65' Steve Kindel), Oliver Heald; Chris Clarke, Domenic Mobilio.
It was deja vu all over again as the Seattle Sounders fell to the Vancouver 86ers early in overtime, spoiling Seattle's home opener. After a scoreless 90 minutes, Domenic Mobilio finished a low cross from Craig Dalrymple on the first shot of the overtime period. Seattle were playing a man down in the late minutes after sweeper Bernie James was sent off for head-butting Mobilio in the forehead after play had been whistled dead. In the previous game for both sides, Vancouver won their home opener 2-1 with an overtime goal.
The match saw plenty of offense, with both sides taking 15 shots, forcing almost half that many saves. Chances came early, with Vancouver's Chris Clarke heading on goal from a throw-in play in the first minute. Seattle goalkeeper Dusty Hudock blocked for a fine save, then had to dive to push Jeff Skinner's rebound shot wide for a corner.
Seattle soon had chances. A ball cleared straight up by the Vancouver defense was headed sharply on goal from 15 yards by Erik Storkson, forcing Paul Dolan's first save. Then Seattle's other forward, Patrick Beech, fired a bending 25-yarder on goal that hit Dolan's thigh and popped up, then was grabbed by Dolan.
From a headed clearance by Seattle, Ian Clarke bent a 30-yard shot from the right on goal, and Hudock caught for another save. Then Dalrymple volleyed another Sounder clearance low to the far post, also caught by Hudock. Just 15 minutes in, we had seen a half's worth of quality shots, all on goal.
About to take a throw-in, Ian Clarke was taught a lesson in etiquette by the referee who told Clarke to tuck in his jersey. If you're going to start, you must dress for the part.
On a Seattle counter, rookie back Brandon Prideaux sprung Fabian Davis on the left, but Vancouver's defense recovered to pressure Davis' shot, sent two yards wide of the far post.
After three players had been verbally warned for rough fouls, Vancouver's Chris Franks earned the first of many cards when he was cautioned for knocking down Scott Jenkins, overlapping on the left side.
Midway in the half, Beech fed Davis nicely for a shot from the 18 on the right, but Davis sent the ball over the bar.
On a Vancouver attack, Mobilio carried the ball to the bye line and sent a dangerous cross in front of the goalmouth, but Jenkins got to it first to clear it out for a corner.
Alone against three defenders, Beech actually tried a low shot from the edge of the center circle, but Dolan was awake and gobbled it up.
Late in the half, the yellow card came out four times in four minutes. Seattle player/coach Neil Megson earned his for fouling Chris Clarke from behind. Hudock caught Chris Franks' resultant 40-yard free kick at the bar. Then Storkson, frustrated by a non-call seconds earlier, was cautioned for a rough retaliatory foul against Chris Clarke. Finally, Dalrymple fouled Prideaux away from the ball and the two had at each other while they were tangled, earning them each a yellow card.
Two minutes before the halftime whistle, Beech came as close as you can without scoring when his 20-yard blast from the right went past Dolan, hit the crossbar, then the goal line, then the crossbar sharply again, then the goal line again, and was finally cleared from danger by a Vancouver defender. Many fans thought the ball had crossed the goal line with spin, then bounced back to the crossbar, but only a slow-motion replay from a camera on the goal line would have settled the argument. It was a difficult call for the assistant referee, who was 18 yards out (properly level with Beech and the next-to-last defender) when the shot was fired and he couldn't get to the goal line as fast as the ball.
Seattle had the better attack nearly the entire second half. Early on, Beech got free on the right but miskicked his shot. Storkson headed a throw-in on goal, but Dolan saved easily. From a busted throw-in play, David Hoggan saw a good opening from 20 yards but sent the shot wide left.
The Sounders continued to pressure Vancouver's goal but the 86ers' defense prevented any more good shots until the 69th when Megson, carrying the ball up the middle, worked a nice wall pass with Davis and shot a yard wide of the far post. Jenkins' air cross found Megson but he couldn't reach all of the ball with his header. Prideaux gave Megson an opportunity for a flying header 15 yards out, but the sharply hit shot was just wide right. Having had enough, Megson replaced himself with Stoner Tadlock for the final minutes.
At 81' Beech fired a 20-yard shot at the lower right corner, but Dolan made a fine dive to push the ball wide. From the resulting throw-in, Dolan punched weakly away, giving Kei Kinoshita a chance to head at the vacant net from 15 yards, but the shot was just over the bar.
The other way, Dailly finally took a good shot for Vancouver, aiming at the top left corner from 35 yards out on the right, and missing by just a yard.
The game's nastiest altercation came at 86' on a Vancouver attack. James felt Mobilio fouled him, but no whistle sounded. James then tripped Mobilio with a slide tackle that was aimed more at Mobilio than at the ball. As both players got back up, James appeared to head-butt Mobilio in the forehead and Mobilio went back down, holding his head. Actually, we found out later that James just feinted a head butt and didn't actually make contact with Mobilio. Out came the red card for James for the nasty tackle, and the tide shifted in Vancouver's favor.
With a minute left, Dailly earned a good chance from the right but miskicked his shot wide. In the final minute, Mobilio beat his marker with a turn to the outside on the left and sent a low shot past the diving Hudock but also just past the far post.
Strangely, the referee added not a bit of extra time to either half even though there were six cards, two substitutions and a few injuries.
92' Mobilio (Dalrymple). Mobilio ended the game suddenly with the first shot of the overtime period. Perhaps because Seattle were a man short in the back, Dalrymple had the whole right side to himself on an attack, carried the ball toward the right corner and sent a rolling cross in square and 15 yards from the goal line. The cross had enough speed to get through the crowd in front of the goal and Mobilio met it with a first-touch shot 15 yards out from the far post, slotting the ball between the diving Hudock and the left post for the game winner.
Shots: Sea 15, Van 15
Saves: Hudock 7, Dolan 5
Corners: Sea 4, Van 4
Fouls: Sea 21, Van 13
Offside: Sea 1, Van 2
22 C. Franks (V) cautioned
38 Megson (S) cautioned
40 Storkson (S) cautioned
42 Dalrymple (V) cautioned
42 Prideaux (S) cautioned
86 James (S) sent off