2003 Jun 7

Seattle Sounders  2 - 1  Vancouver Whitecaps (AET)
Seahawks Stadium, Seattle, WA

17' VAN - Heald (PK)
46' SEA - Bengard (Nguyen)
109' SEA - Smith (PK)

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Danny Jackson, Ryan Edwards, Zach Scott (Kevin Sakuda 30'); Scott Jenkins, Jason Farrell, Andrew Gregor (Craig Tomlinson 77'), Alex Bengard, Viet Nguyen (Chad Brown 99'); Sean-Michael Callahan, Kyle Smith. Substitutes not used: Ryan Wittstruck, Matt Hulen, Shawn Percell, Greg Foisie.

Vancouver: Mike Franks; Nick Dasovic, Chris Franks, Jeff Skinner; Steve Kindel, Paul Dailly (Chris Craveiro 54'), Oliver Heald,  Jeff Clarke, Alfredo Valente; Tiarnan King (Johnny Sulentic 57'), Niall Thompson. Substitutes not used: Alex Marques, Craig Robson, Dave Morris, Tony Fonseca.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

Neither side were entirely happy with referee Ramon Hernandez after the Seattle Sounders took a 2-1 decision from the Vancouver Whitecaps. Kyle Smith's penalty kick late in extra time gave Seattle the win. Vancouver had taken an early lead with Oliver Heald's penalty kick. A goal by Seattle's Alex Bengard in the first minute of the second half leveled the score and forced the extra time. Referee Hernandez had multiple close decisions to make regarding whether or not to call a penalty kick, and he could not have satisfied both sides this evening. Seattle goalkeeper Rich Cullen made some great saves to earn the win.

Nine yellow cards were issued, none to Andrew Gregor. Nobody earned a red card as had happened in the first two matches between these sides in 2003.

First Half

Referee Hernandez pulled his yellow card in the first minute, on the first foul of the match, as Vancouver's Nick Dasovic tripped from behind at the halfway line. Somebody had filled in Hernandez on the recent history between these sides.

Vancouver had the first good shot in the 4th minute as Alfredo Valente's curled cross was headed sharply by Niall Thompson from the spot, but right to goalkeeper Rich Cullen.

Seattle forced a save in the 11th when Andrew Gregor tried for the far post from 15 yards on the left. Smith dropped a centered ball to Bengard for a 25 yard try up the middle that missed the top right corner by 2 yards.

17' Heald (PK). In what appeared to be a horribly unjust call, referee Hernandez awarded Vancouver a penalty kick when Cullen and Jeff Clarke collided after Cullen was first to an air ball to the side of his goal. After Cullen got his hands on the ball, he was hit by Clarke and the ball was knocked over the end line. In a further injustice, Hernandez gave Cullen a yellow card. Assistant referee Brian Armes had vigorously waved his flag on the play, holding the flag in his left hand, apparently ready to signal a free kick for Seattle. But Hernandez, 30 yards away on the play, pointed to the spot and never consulted with Armes. We're not sure what Hernandez saw or thought he saw. Heald put the penalty kick into the top right corner. 1-0 Vancouver.

Vancouver came close to quick second goal when Steve Kindel put a long shot from the right at the top far corner, barely saved by a retreating Cullen at the goal plane. Then Thompson tried from 22 yards and Cullen smothered it.

For Seattle in the 27th, Smith headed a long cross a yard wide of the top far corner.

Back to Vancouver, Valente was open on the left for a 15-yarder, and Cullen dove forwards to cover it.

On a counterattack, Seattle's Viet Nguyen earned a 15-yard shot that sailed a half yard wide of the top far corner. Near intermission Sean-Michael Callahan thought he was tripped from behind when he got within ten yards of goal, but the incident was waved off by Hernandez.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 1 Vancouver

46' Bengard (Nguyen). Just 40 seconds from kickoff Bengard scored his first Sounders goal when he beat his man to a cross, sent past goal by Nguyen, the shot past goalkeeper Mike Franks to the far side. 1-1, and Seattle's outlook was much brighter.

Vancouver looked like they might regain the lead when Clarke beat Scott jenkins to earn a shot from 15 yards with only Cullen to beat, but Cullen blocked it sideways for a great save.

Seattle had a good 5 minutes, starting when Nguyen won the ball at the bye line and crossed it to Gregor, then it deflected to Smith for a good effort at a volley that sailed just over the bar. Gregor won a battle up the middle for a 15-yarder with only M Franks to beat, and Franks snared it for his best save thus far. Callahan's dangerous cross from the left was just behind Bengard's run at the 6-yard line. After Callahan was fouled left of the penalty area, Bengard's free kick missed the top far corner by a yard.

In the 62nd Vancouver's newly signed Johnny Sulentic, just on as a substitute, got around the right for a shot that was well saved by Cullen, conceding a corner.

For Seattle, Gregor was just wide of the near post from the top right corner of the penalty area. Jason Farrell served Smith for a 15-yarder, saved by M Franks at the near post. Craig Tomlinson, on for Seattle, curled a shot a half yard over the bar from the top of the arc.

Vancouver had their chances in the last ten minutes of regulation time. Paul Dailly from 25 was a yard high. A sloppy Ryan Edwards pass in the backfield quickly led to Thompson crossing for Sulentic ten yards out, but Cullen got out to push the pass onto Sulentic, who knocked it out for a goal kick. Thompson from 20 yards forced another fine save by Cullen.

Last chance in regulation was Seattle's, as Tomlinson dropped for Nguyen, whose 20-yarder from the right was looked a yard wide by M Franks.

Regulation: Seattle 1 - 1 Vancouver

Vancouver controlled the first 10-minute extra time period. Cullen again was out to push a through pass onto Sulentic, who knocked it out for a goal kick, with Cullen upending Sulentic on the follow through. Sulentic appealed for a penalty kick, but none was deserved. Then a quick 15-yard shot up the middle by Sulentic was nicely saved by Cullen. Heald's 20-yard shot from a corner kick play made it halfway to goal before Edwards cleared it. Sulentic was a yard over the bar from 20.

Then it was Seattle controlling the second 10-minute period in extra time. In the 104th Tomlinson went sprawling in the penalty area, possibly taken down from behind, but no whistle sounded. Callahan was tripped when he turned towards goal with the ball just inside the corner of the penalty area, but instead of a favorable call he was unjustly cautioned for what Hernandez judged to be a dive. Substitute Chad Brown, seeing his first minutes of the season, took a fine shot from 20 yards that just missed the near post.

109' Smith (PK). A pass was served to the front line for the speedy Tomlinson, who burst past Chris Franks and into the penalty area. At about the edge of the area Tomlinson was tripped from behind. Hernandez judged the contact to have been made just inside the area and to the great joy of Sounders fans a spot kick was awarded. Smith put it accurately into the lower left corner, snatching victory from the jaws of injustice.

Final: Seattle 2 - 1 Vancouver

         Seattle   Vancouver
Shots:      21        16
Saves:       8         4
Corners:     5         4
Fouls:      14        22
Offsides:    3         7

1' VAN - Dasovic cautioned for a trip from behind at the halfway line.
16' SEA - Cullen cautioned, apparently unjustly, when it appeared he got the ball first in a challenge with Clarke.
22' SEA - Scott cautioned for a reckless challenge against King near the circle.
28' VAN - Valente cautioned for preventing Nguyen from getting by 20 yards into Vancouver's end.
40' VAN - Thompson cautioned for tripping Bengard late in Seattle's half.
78' SEA - Tomlinson cautioned for a reckless challenge in Vancouver's half.
84' VAN - Sulentic cautioned for a foul from behind at the halfway line.
103' VAN - Dailly cautioned for failing to yield ten yards on a free kick.
105' SEA - Callahan cautioned for diving when it looked like he was truly fouled just inside Vancouver's penalty area.

Referees: Ramon Hernandez; Shahram Pourazari, Brian Armes; Cory Dean.
Attendance: 4,752