San Francisco Bay Seals 1 - 1 Seattle Sounders (Seattle
Kezar Stadium, San Francisco
60' SEA: Russell (Gaw)
90' SFB: Edwards
San Francisco Bay: Greg Connell; Todd Duncan, Angelo Sablo, John Cairel; Chris Davini, Jay Gore, Keith Ratzburg (Joel Hurd 35, Tomis Babic 81), Jeremy Schultz, Jorge Salazar (Ryan Edwards 61); Clay Harty (Ali John Utush 71), Stale Sobye.
Seattle: Preston Burpo; Bernie James, Kieran Barton, Scott Jenkins (Peter Hattrup 103), Craig Waibel; Shan Gaw, Sean Henderson, Oliver Heald, Ian Russell (Randy Mann 79); Erik Storkson (Ralph Robertson 68), Mark Baena (Viet Nguyen 81).
The Seattle Sounders snatched 4 points from the jaws of victory after Oliver Heald was sent off in the 76th minute for back-heeling Chris Davini in retaliation for shirt-pulling. The Sounders settled for a CrapShootout win over the host San Francisco Bay Seals. Seattle had dominated play and taken a 1-0 lead when Ian Russell scored from a volley at 60 minutes. After Seattle were reduced to ten men, the tide turned and San Francisco Bay dominated the rest of regulation and the overtime period. Ex-University of Washington Husky Ryan Edwards, who played for the Sounders his rookie season last year, scored from a loose ball with 20 seconds left to tie the match at 1-1.
The Sounders had some offensive firepower back for this match as Mark Baena, proud father of a new daughter, was back from a 2-match paternity leave and Erik Storkson was back after serving a 2-match suspension for a red card. Ralph Robertson and Randy Mann were recovered enough from their injuries to come on as substitutes. Alexander Nouri, injured the previous match, was still out. Jason Annicchero was benched by Coach Neil Megson for what Megson described on the radio broadcast as an unsatisfactory attitude.
Seattle had a strong wind in their favor the first half, but couldn't take advantage of it. SF Bay's Clay Harty and Seattle's Sean Henderson traded early shots, both sent wide. Then Harty's weak shot was easily saved by Burpo at 8' for what would prove to be the Seals' only other shot of the first half.
For the Sounders, Henderson's pass deflected off a defender to give Baena a good chance from 18, sent just wide. Shan Gaw took a corner kick that the wind pushed on goal, forcing the first save by Greg Connell. Then Gaw earned space for a low, hard shot, well-saved by Connell at the near post.
San Francisco Bay's Keith Ratzburg sent in a cross that nearly connected with the charging Harty, but Burpo grabbed the ball after it gave Harty a haircut.
At 30' Seattle striker Storkson fed Henderson, who dropped the ball for Heald's hard shot from 20, sent right at Connell for another save. Henderson got free in the penalty area for a shot aimed at the top right corner, but it was pushed away by Connell for a corner kick. Near the end of the half Russell's cross was headed on goal by Storkson from 6 yards out but right at Connell.
Halftime: San Francisco Bay 0 - 0 Seattle
The wind slowed down for the second half. Seattle's Heald tried to catch Connell off guard with an early shot but Connell tracked the ball as it went wide.
60' Russell (Gaw). A Seattle free kick rattled around in the penalty area and was cleared out to Gaw, who worked tenaciously to earn a cross through the area to Russell, who volleyed nicely from waist-high to the top right corner to finally put Seattle on the scoreboard.
At 69 minutes, San Francisco Bay finally found some remnants of an offense. Harty shot across the goal mouth and wide of the far post. Defender John Cairel beat 3 as he carried 30 yards for a shot, but he sent the ball high and wide.
Then Heald back-heeled Davini in retaliation for shirt-pulling. The red card came out promptly, and with the man advantage San Francisco Bay began to attack with much more authority. A long shot was at the top right corner, but Burpo was easily there for the save. Angelo Sablo flicked Stale Sobye's cross just past the far post.
The Seals earned a flurry of corner kicks in the final ten minutes. Most were wasted and the best was to the far post but nicely plucked out of danger by Burpo.
90' Edwards. On the final attack by San Francisco Bay, the ball rattled around in front of the goal and rolled near the goal line behind Burpo. Edwards got there first and put it away to level the match at 1-1 with just 20 seconds left on the countdown clock.
Regulation: San Francisco Bay 1 - 1 Seattle
The extra time was dominated by San Francisco Bay as they outshot the Sounders 9-2, but the Seals couldn't put any of their shots on goal. The 9 overtime shots for the Seals was as many as they had managed in the first 90 minutes!
In the first minute of overtime Sablo flicked on a ball for Jeremy Schultz, who tried to chip over the advancing Burpo but was just over the crossbar. A minute later substitute Tomislan Babic's 30-yard shot was blocked by the Seattle defense, and the 35-yard put-back shot was too high. Another minute later another shot by Babic was over the bar.
For Seattle, Viet Nguyen's short cross was shot by Gaw but deflected out for a corner.
A San Francisco Bay defender came unmarked up the middle for a shot, but Bernie James made the block. Sablo took a shot that was high and wide. After a series of passes, Babic's shot was deflected wide for a corner kick.
In the final minute Seattle's Ralph Robertson put the first shot of the period on goal, but Connell easily saved, and this being US pro soccer, the much-hated CrapShootout was on. As an aside, a little bird told us that the CrapShootout will die with the 1999 season, and timekeeping will be put back in the hands of the referee where it belongs!
Final: San Francisco Bay 1 - 1 Seattle
Seattle won the CrapShootout. Craig Waibel's shot was the best, as he pushed the ball forward 4 yards, then chipped over Connell from 31 yards for what would prove to be the CrapShootout winner.