2007 Sep 16

Playoffs, round 1, leg 1:
Seattle Sounders 1 - 0 Carolina RailHawks
Qwest Field, Seattle, WA

Seattle: Chris Eylander; Danny Jackson, Taylor Graham, Zach Scott, Kevin Sakuda; Kenji Treschuk, Leighton O'Brien, Josh Gardner (Noah Merl 77'), Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar; Roger Levesque (Greg Howes 66'), Sebastien Le Toux (Andre Schmid 83'). Substitutes not used: Ben Dragavon, Jake Besagno, Gabe Sturm, Craig Tomlinson.

Carolina: Chris McClellan; David Stokes (sent off 85'), Frankie Sanfillipo, Chad Dombrowski, Joey Worthen (sent off 90'); Kupono Low, Connally Edozien, Stuart Brightwell (Caleb Norkus 64'), Phillip Long (Kevin Jeffrey 44'); Johnny Steele, Anthony Maher (Joel Bailey 75', Mark Jones 86'). Substitutes not used: John O'Hara, Cooper Friend.

90' SEA: O'Brien (PK)

Additional match reports: Sounders, RailHawks, Seattle P-I, GOALSeatle.com.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders followed their coach's game plan to advance to the semifinal round of the playoffs over the visiting Carolina RailHawks: give nothing away. After winning the first leg in Cary, NC by a score of 2-0, the Sounders were guaranteed to advance by preventing two Carolina goals. Thanks to some more excellent saves by Chris Eylander among 7 total saves, the Sounders shut out the RailHawks for the fourth time this season in four contests. The 1-0 win came from a Leighton O'Brien penalty kick late in added time after the frustrated RailHawks fouled Kenji Treschuk in the penalty area.

First Half

It was all Sounders for the first quarter of the match. The first shot came in the 4th minute when Josh Gardner curled a 30-yard free kick to the near post, and Chris McClellan was there for a comfortable save. In the 10th Sebastien Le Toux worked a wall pass with Roger Levesque to earn a good chance from 10 yards and shot a yard wide of the far post. A minute later O'Brien ripped a hard shot at the near post from 15 yards off the volley, and McClellan did well to knock it wide with his arm for a corner.

Midway in the half Carolina was still without a shot. At 25' for Seattle a long O'Brien free kick to the far side was headed in front of goal by Hugo Alcaraz-Cuellar to give Levesque a close shot with his foot, but McClellan collapsed on it for a fine save.

Carolina's first shot came at 29' when Johnny Steele rolled a 25-yarder up the middle, but it went a yard wide with Eylander watching it at the post. That woke up the RailHawks offense. A minute later David Stokes was up to fire a fine low shot from the top of the arc at the left post for Carolina's best shot of the match, but Chris Eylander turned in an excellent dive to push it wide and square. Then another minute later it was Joey Worthen from 20 yards with a quick shot, but he missed, 2 yards over the top near corner.

Steele continued the momentum for Carolina in the 34th when he got his head on a long cross at the 6-yard line, heading it down, but Eylander was there for the diving save.

For Seattle at 36', Gardner had another free kick and curled this one nicely at the top far corner where McClellan did well to one-hand it over the bar for a corner. The corner kick rattled around in front of goal to give Zach Scott a shot that was blocked by a defender, then a cross to the far post gave Levesque a header that was watched wide of the near post by McClellan.

In the 39th Carolina's Anthony Maher was served in the penalty area and nearly got a good shot from 10 yards, but Taylor Graham ran in to knock it out for a corner just before Maher could pull the trigger.

Halftime: Seattle 0 - 0 Carolina

Carolina's Kupono Low had the first chance of the second half, sending a 25-yard shot a half yard over the top near corner.

Then Seattle turned on the pressure as Zach Scott headed O'Brien's corner kick sharply at the near post in the 54th, where McClellan made a fine save. On the next attack, Levesque fed Le Toux for a volley from 18, sent a yard wide of the far post. At 61' Levesque's cross gave Le Toux another chance but McClellan got out to get a hand on Le Toux's shot and the defense cleared the leftovers.

For Carolina in the 62nd, substitute Joel Bailey threaded his way up the middle to get off a 15-yard shot, but Eylander had it covered. Next, Steele got loose for a low shot from 18 yards, and Eylander dove for the save at the post. At 71' Low's 25-yard free kick was bent nicely at the lower near corner, but the shot was matched with an equally fine save by Eylander.

The 82nd minute saw three Sounders shots in rapid succession, the first two blocked by McClellan, and the third after the ball was crossed to Le Toux, who put the shot over the bar.

Last chance for Carolina came at 90' when Steele received a cross to the far side and headed on goal, but it was an easy save for Eylander.

90' SEA: O'Brien (PK). Four minutes into an announced five minutes of added time, the Sounders went on the counterattack with substitute Andre Schmid free on the left. He used a square pass to center the ball to Treschuk on the far-post run, and probably in frustration Worthen knocked Treschuk down from behind. It was a penalty kick for Seattle and a second yellow card for Worthen. O'Brien softly chipped the PK to the right side as McClellan dove the other way. 1-0 Seattle. The final whistle sounded a few seconds after the restart.

Final: Seattle 1 - 0 Carolina

          Seattle   Carolina
Shots:       17        12
Saves:        7         8
Corners:      5         4
Fouls:       10        27
Offsides:     2         3

17' SEA: Gardner cautioned for a trip in the center circle
27' SEA: O'Brien cautioned for dissent
45' CAR: Worthen cautioned for an arm thrown into Le Toux's face
52' SEA: Treschuk cautioned for delaying a throw-in
77' SEA: Alcaraz-Cuellar cautioned for a foul going up for a header
82' CAR: Dombrowski cautioned
84' CAR: Stokes cautioned for a fouling Jackson in the center circle
85' CAR: Stokes sent off, apparently for pushing referee Hidajet
90' CAR: Worthen cautioned for fouling Treschuk from behind in the penalty area to prevent a shot and sent off for his second caution

Referees: Tica Hidajet; Josh Wilkins, Mark Matthews; Jeff Hosking

Attendance: 3,640