2003 Sep 7

Playoffs, 1st round, 2nd leg:

Vancouver Whitecaps  1 - 1  Seattle Sounders (AET, Seattle advance by penalty kicks 5-6)
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC

2' SEA - Levesque (Callahan)
90' VAN - Morris (C Franks)

Vancouver: Mike Franks; Jeremie Piette, Geordie Lyall, Chris Franks; Andrew Veer (Tiarnan King 65'), Paul Dailly (Niall Thompson 46'), Steve Kindel, Oliver Heald, Alfredo Valente (Jeff Clarke 91'); Carlo Corazzin, Jason Jordan (Dave Morris 73'). Substitutes not used: Alex Marques, Jeff Skinner, Craig Robson.

Seattle: Rich Cullen; Zach Scott, Ryan Edwards, Scott Jenkins, Chad Brown; Sean Henderson (Kevin Sakuda 37'), Sean-Michael Callahan (Herculez Gomez 106'), Andrew Gregor, Jason Farrell (Viet Nguyen 91'); Roger Levesque (Darren Sawatzky 65'), Marco Velez (Kyle Smith 57'). Substitutes not used: Preston Burpo, Ben Somoza.

Match report by Ron Stickney:

It took a tiebreaker to settle this playoff series after a 1-1 draw, and the visiting Seattle Sounders won the kicks from the penalty mark 6-5 to advance to the Western Conference championship series against the Minnesota Thunder. The Sounders got a dream start when Roger Levesque powered in a header in the second minute on the first shot of the match. Seattle withstood 88 minutes of pressure from Vancouver before substitute Dave Morris (there's only one Davy Morris) headed in a shot a couple of minutes into added time. Extra time saw more attacking soccer from Vancouver, but no goals.

Vancouver played without Nick Dasovic (calf) and Johnny Sulentic (knee), both injured in the match at Seattle two days earlier. Off the injured list and starting for Seattle was captain Jason Farrell, and he would set up the first goal.

Since the match is recorded as a draw, Vancouver extend their undefeated streak to 15 league matches and the streak will continue into the 2004 season.

First Half

2' Levesque (Callahan). Seattle were lucky this evening, scoring on the first shot of the match. Farrell intercepted a Vancouver pass in the midfield 40 yards from goal and passed ahead to Sean-Michael Callahan, running in from the left side. Callahan crossed the ball from near the end line. The cross curled over the crowd to Levesque, all alone near the top right corner of the goal area, and he powered a header on goal and it deflected a bit off one or two Whitecaps defenders on the way into the top far corner of the net. One Sounders fan described it as a pachinko goal. 1-0 Seattle.

Seattle would not take another shot in the first half, but they would defend well, with nice blocks inside the penalty area by Zach Scott and Sean Henderson early, then a couple of blocks by Ryan Edwards late in the half.

Vancouver's first shot came in the 6th minute when Jason Jordan hit the side netting with a 10-yard shot from a sharp angle. They had no good shots the rest of the half, forcing just one save by Rich Cullen on a header from a corner kick. Steve Kindel has scored from a distance against the Sounders with his rocket shots, but his tries from 35 yards, then from 30, missed by two yards.

Seattle threatened in the last minute of the half when Levesque led a 2 v 1 attack with Marco Velez to his right, but Levesque pushed the ball too far ahead and Mike Franks claimed it.

Halftime: Vancouver 0 - 1 Seattle

Vancouver shifted into high gear at the second half kickoff, outshooting Seattle 14-2 in the half. Promptly after the kickoff Andrew Veer's shot/cross from the right touch line stretched the retreating Cullen for the save up at the top far corner, and he came down over the line wide of goal to concede a corner kick. In the 50th Carlo Corazzin fed ahead to an open Niall Thompson near the penalty spot, and with Cullen halfway out Thompson missed the right post when he could have easily hit the target it seemed.

After Seattle's Andrew Gregor handled the ball to give Vancouver a 25-yard free kick, he redeemed himself by clearing the free kick with a nifty bicycle kick.

In the 56th Corazzin dropped the ball to the top right corner of the area for Veer, who missed the top far corner by a yard. Veer's short cross to the arc gave Alfredo Valente a shot, and he missed the top near corner by two yards. Valente soon had another try, sending a 15-yarder with velocity inches over the bar. Kindel's 25-yarder up the middle was caught by Cullen at the bar. In the 66th it was Kindel yet again, but his 25-yard shot bent 3 yards high. Chris Franks from 25 yards shot two yards wide of the near post.

Seattle's second shot of the match finally came in the 69th minute, when substitute Kyle Smith tried a long header up the middle but couldn't get much on it, and Mike Franks easily saved.

The next 15 minutes saw only a couple of Vancouver shots and they weren't close. Then a Seattle counterattack in the 85th saw Gregor get chopped down in the circle, but advantage was allowed as he managed to feed the ball ahead for Levesque with only the goalkeeper to beat, but the shot was saved, and it would be Seattle's last shot until the spot kick tiebreaker.

In the 86th Oliver Heald served Morris for a bicycle kick shot at the lower corner, and Cullen dove right making a great save. In the 88th Thompson was served in the penalty area for a header, but he shot two yards wide of the top far corner.

90' Morris (C Franks). Two minutes into added time Vancouver's pressure finally paid off. Chris Franks sent in a long air ball diagonally into the penalty area. The tall Morris rose ten yards out to head it on goal. Cullen had come to try to get the cross, but the shot arced over his gloves and bounced into goal while he was wishing he had stayed near his line. 1-1.

Regulation: Vancouver 1 - 1 Seattle

30 minutes of extra time would see 11 shots by Vancouver vs. none by Seattle, but no shots would find net.

In the 94th, Corazzin dove to get his head on a Heald free kick, but the shot went over the bar. A couple of long shots were a yard or two high.

In the 101st Seattle's Chad Brown was knocked down from behind just inside the penalty area while trying to receive a pass, but referee Hu Lui didn't think charge from behind was forceful enough for a PK.

Near the end of the first extra time period Corazzin headed a long cross over Cullen and onto the roof, and Corazzin was left holding his head in frustration.

In the 107th Chris Franks bent a hard 35-yard shot up the middle, and Cullen saved at his feet.

Amazingly, Seattle's first corner kick didn't occur until the 108th minute, and it resulted in a Vancouver free kick after goalkeeper Franks was fouled in the air.

The last shot was Corazzin's, heading a long free kick on goal, saved by Cullen diving forward with Thompson right there pressuring.

After Extra Time: Vancouver 1 - 1 Seattle

Kicks from the Penalty Mark

Seattle won the tiebreaker, settled by the taking of kicks from the penalty mark. Referee Lui chose the end populated by the rowdy SouthSiders, meaning that Cullen and his teammates would have to endure some verbal grief, but in the end they would celebrate right in front of the SouthSiders.

All 12 shots were well taken. Through the first five for each side, everybody scored, with Cullen caught guessing the wrong way each time. Mike Franks guessed correctly a couple of times, but couldn't reach the ball. Nguyen started the 6th round by hitting the top right corner. Then Cullen finally guessed correctly when he dove right to slap Clarke's shot wide of the post, and the series was over.

Seattle         Vancouver
1 - Smith       1 - Heald
1 - Brown       1 - King
1 - Sawatzky    1 - C Franks
1 - Gomez       1 - Corazzin
1 - Gregor      1 - Morris
1 - Nguyen      0 - Clarke (saved)

         Vancouver  Seattle
Shots:      31         3
Saves:       2         8
Corners:    11         1
Fouls:      19        26
Offsides:    1         2

4' SEA - Brown cautioned for taking down Kindel in front of the 4th official.
11' VAN - Piette cautioned for something the assistant referee saw 20 yards into Vancouver's half.
18' SEA - Gregor cautioned for knocking Valente down at the halfway line away from the ball.
77' SEA - Scott cautioned.
78' SEA - Sawatzky cautioned for delaying the restart by kicking the ball away.
116' VAN - Kindel cautioned for sliding into Brown with cleats up.

Referees: Hu Lui; Mark Budda, Paul Ward; Kevin Duliba
Attendance: 5,175