2002 Sep 15

Playoffs, 2nd round, 2nd leg:

Seattle Sounders  2 - 6  Vancouver Whitecaps
Memorial Stadium, Seattle, WA

22' VAN - Clarke (Lyall)
26' VAN - Heald
39' VAN - Kindel (Jordan)
52' SEA - Smith (Boyce)
60' SEA - Farrell (O'Brien)

67' VAN - Morris (Valente)
70' VAN - Heald (PK)
90' VAN - Thompson (Kindel)

Seattle: Preston Burpo; Dick McCormick (Craig Tomlinson 80'), Zach Scott, Ryan Edwards (Kieran Barton 29'); Nate Daligcon (Kyle Smith 45'), Andrew Gregor, Leighton O'Brien, Scott Jenkins, Jason Farrell; Darren Sawatzky (Jason Boyce 45', Chad Brown 66'), Brian Ching.

Vancouver: Jim Larkin; Nick Dasovic, Chris Franks (Nico Craveiro 73'), Geordie Lyall; Jeff Clarke (Andrew Veer 45'), Oliver Heald, Paul Dailly (Andrew Veer 85'), Alfredo Valente, Steve Kindel; Jason Jordan (Kevan Cameron 45'), Dave Morris (Mark Finan 69').

Photos by Timbers and A-League fan Allison Andrews. Match reports from the papers: Seattle Times, PI, SCJ.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

They say that defense wins championships. The Vancouver Whitecaps' defense has been stellar in the playoffs, while the Seattle Sounders' defense fell apart. Vancouver won this match 6-2 to take the playoff series 8-2 on aggregate. Vancouver advance to the A-League's final four to face the Milwaukee Rampage in the Western Conference finals.

Vancouver scored three times in the first half, with Jeff Clarke, Oliver Heald and Steve Kindel finding net. In the second half Seattle pulled within a goal when Kyle Smith and Jason Farrell scored. With Seattle pushing forward in critical need of goals, Vancouver added three in the final 25 minutes, with Dave Morris, Heald from a penalty kick, and Niall Thompson scoring.

There was a good atmosphere in the stadium, with a larger crowd than seen in Memorial Stadium in the regular season. Seattle's supporters group and a contingent from Vancouver were both in fine voice, and an drumming group added a beat.

Flyers handed out said that the Sounders are now taking deposits for  2003 season tickets in Seahawks Stadium, so this may have been the last Sounders match in Memorial. That is good news.

First Half

Seattle had the early chances. Defender Zach Scott was up for a free kick and headed the ball across the 6-yard line and Farrell got a poke at it, but a defender blocked the shot. A long diagonal ball to the top left corner of the penalty area was reached first by Scott Jenkins, and his header over the charging goalkeeper Jim Larkin went a yard wide of the far post. Larkin collided with Jenkins on the play and took a minute to recover.

In the 12th minute, after a Vancouver foul, Andrew Gregor apparently retaliated and got a long talking to by referee Sandy Hunt.

Vancouver's first good chance came in the 15th minute when Alfredo Valente beat his man on the left and carried into the penalty area for a shot at the near post, parried wide by Preston Burpo. Kindel had a chance from 28 yards but curled it high and wide.

22' Clarke (Lyall). Geordie Lyall sprung Clarke on the right and from 15 yards Clarke chipped the ball over the advancing Burpo and inside the far post. 1-0 Vancouver.

Two minutes later Seattle had a good chance when a corner kick was headed in front of goal and shot on goal from close in, but a defender on the line cleared.

26' Heald. Heald won a ball in the middle of Seattle's half and beat Dick McCormick to go in with only Burpo to beat, and he beat the keeper to put Vancouver up 2-0.

Kieran Barton came on for the injured Ryan Edwards in the 29th. Edwards had been off the pitch during the second goal.

Back Seattle's way as Gregor's 25-yard free kick rebounded off the far post and was cleared out for a corner kick. In the 35th, Gregor's 20-yard shot made it most of the way to goal before being cleared by a defender. Jenkins fed the ball ahead to Brian Ching, who was hauled down in the arc. Somebody in the wall rose to head away Gregor's resulting free kick from the arc.

39' Kindel (Jordan). Burpo beat Morris to a high ball at the 18, but the punched ball went into space with only Jason Jordan near. Jordan held while the defense converged on him, then crossed to an open Kindel on the opposite side. Kindel blasted a rocket past a defender inside the near post before Burpo could make it back to his line. 3-0 Vancouver.

Seattle had chances at the end of the half. In the 44th, Gregor's free kick from the 18-yard line curled around the wall to the lower far corner, but Larkin dove to parry it away with a fine save. A minute later Larkin came out of his box to clear a ball just before Darren Sawatzky could reach it, but the ball rolled to O'Brien 35 yards from goal, and his shot at the unguarded net started out on target but bent wide left.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 3 Vancouver

Jason Boyce came on for Seattle and soon crossed to give McCormick a chance with a volley, but he skied it.

For Vancouver, Kindel popped one from 40 yards but was a yard high. Substitute Andrew Veer was sprung on the left for a 15-yarder, but sent it just over the top far corner.

52' Smith (Boyce). Boyce was sprung up the middle and beat Larkin and a defender to the ball near the spot. Boyce centered a ball with just the right pace, and a wide open Smith had time to trap before finishing from 8 yards. 3-1 Vancouver. Boyce injured his heel on the play and would later sub out, replaced by Chad Brown.

Seattle again in the 57th as Ching shot from 20 and Larkin was down for the save, but the ball got a bit loose and he had to kick it out for a corner before two attackers arrived. In the same minute, a Scott header beat Larkin but rebounded off the base of the far post.

For Vancouver, Valente took a 20-yard shot from the left but missed the far post by two yards.

60' Farrell (O'Brien). Ching was fouled near the left flag. O'Brien's free kick to the far post was met by the head of a flying Farrell for the finish. 3-2 Vancouver.

Seattle kept pressuring Vancouver's goal. A ball that rattled around Vancouver's penalty area eventually went to an open O'Brien 20 yards out in the center, and he chest-trapped it and shot, but Vancouver blocked. Seconds later another chance was Farrell's from 12 yards, but he sent it two yards over the far corner. In the 64th, Gregor's free kick from the left went low just past the far post after passing within a yard or two of several Sounders.

67' Morris (Valente). Valente was very open on the left on a counterattack, and from the touch line he crossed for Morris on a near post run, and Morris headed it past Burpo inside the near post. 4-2 Vancouver.

70' Heald (PK). Brown took down substitute Kevan Cameron at the spot going up for a long free kick. A penalty kick was awarded, and Heald put it to the right with Burpo guessing the other way. 5-2 Vancouver.

Seattle had all the chances until the final minute. In the 72nd Gregor put a free kick on goal, then a corner kick on goal, and Larkin punched them both away. From O'Brien's feed, Ching's sideways chip was just over the top near corner. Gregor's excellent bicycle kick in the 85th forced Larkin to parry it wide of the near post for a corner. A shot close in from a corner kick was pushed away by a diving Larkin. The Sounders won a loose ball in the area for a 15-yard shot by substitute Craig Tomlinson that was deflected over the bar for a corner.

90' Thompson (Kindel). Kindel carried up the middle on a counterattack and dished left to a wide open Thompson, who chipped over Burpo to the top far corner for the final goal.

Final: Seattle 2 - 6 Vancouver

         Seattle  Vancouver
Shots:      29       12
Saves:       1       10
Corners:    10        2
Fouls:      20       21
Offsides:    4        4

19' VAN - Heald cautioned for tripping Gregor at the circle, away from the ball.
38' SEA - Gregor cautioned for chopping a Vancouver defender in the ankle going for a loose ball.
43' SEA - O'Brien cautioned for retaliating after being taken down at the edge of Vancouver's box.
61' SEA - Jenkins cautioned for poking his foot into Dailly's leg as Dailly cleared the ball.
75' VAN - Cameron cautioned for chopping down Ching 25 yards from goal.

Referees: Sandy Hunt; David Simon, Shahram Pourazari; Mohammed Zarrabi-Kashani.
Attendance: 3,917