2009 Oct 3

Sounders end Columbus Crew's 22-match home unbeaten streak on a Roger Levesque goal

Columbus Crew  0 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

Columbus Crew Stadium, Columbus, OH

36' SEA: Roger Levesque

Columbus: William Hesmer; Gino Padula, Danny O'Rourke, Eric Brunner; Eddie Gaven, Brian Carroll, Kevin Burns (Emmanuel Ekpo 71'), Robbie Rogers, Jed Zayner (Steven Lenhart 64'); Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Alejandro Moreno (Emilio Renteria 77'). Substitutes not used: Kenny Schoeni, Andy Iro, Adam Moffat, Duncan Oughton.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Leo Gonzalez, Tyrone Marshall, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, James Riley; Steve Zakuani (Sebastien Le Toux 64'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Freddie Ljungberg; Fredy Montero (Peter Vagenas 89'), Roger Levesque (Patrick Ianni 69'). Substitutes not used: Terry Boss, Tyson Wahl, Nathan Sturgis, Stephen King.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Seattle Sounders FC nabbed an important road win at the Columbus Crew 1-0 on an unassisted lone goal by Roger Levesque, although not without help.

Sitting this match due to yellow card accumulation were Seattle's Nate Jaqua and Columbus' Frankie Hejduk.

Really odd was the ghosted gridiron lines at Crew Stadium, supposedly a soccer-specific stadium. Give 'em a plus for grass, but a minus for gridiron lines.

First Half

Seattle controlled the opening minutes, with Levesque getting the first shot of the match from 23 yards up the middle, sent a yard high.

Columbus' first chance was a cross by Robbie Rogers to the near post, collected by goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

Seattle had the best of the opening quarter. A cross by Steve Zakuani found sweeper Tyrone Marshall close to goal under pressure, but his first touch rolled it over the line for a goal kick. A Fredy Montero to Freddie Ljunberg give and go attempt went too far, easily taken by goalkeeper William Hesmer.

For Columbus, after back and forth in the midfield, Rogers drove a shot wide from 25.

Columbus nearly nicked a goal at 24' when Rogers' cross along the 18-yard line was touched on by Guillermo Barros Schelotto to Eddie Gaven, whose shot rang off the far post and rebounded across the goal face. Marshall seemed to get a touch on the shot to push it onto the post.

After Columbus had controlled the momentum for a bit, at the half hour mark Seattle took back the advantage. A give and go from Zakuani to Montero and back was too far and cleared out for a throw-in. Montero forced the match's first corner kick, which led to a Jhon Kennedy Hurtado header from 18 yards, on goal for a change from Hurtado, but an easy save for Hesmer.

Columbus came back with a Jed Zayner shot that was bounced to Kasey Keller for an easy first save

36' SEA: Roger Levesque. The lone goal of the match was technically unassisted by Levesque, but credit is due for the help. Freddie Ljungberg held the ball well through four defenders to center it to Brad Evans, whose forward pass was intended for Montero. Hesmer got there just before Montero, but couldn't hold it and gave up a rebound, which Levesque fired in from 17 yards. 1-0 Seattle.

Chances kept coming, first for Seattle when Ljungberg tried up the middle from 25 yards and sent it a half yard over the bar.

The Crew were gifted a free kick after a dive by Schelotto, but it was broken up and then a drive by Gino Padula went wide by two yards.

Second Half

Columbus tried first in the second half, when a Padula cross from the left after a free kick was headed just wide of the far post by Schelotto.

A Seattle counter attack saw Montero win the ball nicely, and after a back and forth with Ljungberg the latter got into the penalty area and touched it too far when he might have taken a shot with only Hesmer to beat.

At 51' Gaven took Columbus' second dive, in the penalty area, but the referee Ricardo Salazar ignored the antics.

The other way, Montero nearly earned a shot in the arc, but three defenders won the battle.

At 55' Columbus third dive of the match, again in the penalty area, resulted in a yellow card for Alejandro Moreno.

Around the hour mark, Seattle were defending well, but not earning any scoring chances. Columbus' Danny O'Rourke earned a yellow card for chopping down Ljungberg near the halfway line.

Midway in the second half Kevin Burns tried just the second shot of the half, a long try, but he was not close.

At 67' Moreno dove again, the fourth obvous dive by Columbus, but Salazar ignored the theatrics and awarded the throw-in to Seattle.

At 68' Rogers was sending in the most dangerous crosses for Columbus, but for the second time Keller was there to intercept.

Seattle's first shot of the half came in the same minute from Montero, but he was a few yards wide of the far post.

Seattle defender Tyrone Marshall made the difference at 70'. A Rogers cross to the far post was headed back across the goal mouth, and substitute Steven Lenhart beat Keller to the ball, heading it on goal. Only a bicycle kick by Marshall near the goal plane kept it out. A put-back shot by Kevin Burns was deflected just wide by Marshall for a corner kick, which came to naught. It was two bullets dodged.

The next minute gave Columbus a corner kick, taken by Schelloto, and Lenhart headed it just wide of the far post, and Seattle had dodged another bullet.

Just another minute later, another Columbus corner kick went to the near post for Moreno, and his shot was blocked by Osvaldo Alonso and cleared well.

Quickly the other way, a strong Seattle attack ended with a foul on Ljungberg. The free kick was broken up, but it ended with Alonso juking a defender for a great shot that hit the far post, then the back of goalkeeper Hesmer, then took a big bounce away from goal near the opposite post, then reversed the spin to bounce over the goal line just wide of the goal to give Seattle a goal kick. It was inches from an Alonso goal.

At 80' a nice Columbus cross was dropped by Schelloto to Brian Carroll for a shot at the near post, but Keller had it covered and pushed it wide expertly with his first save of the half. The put-back cross was cleared nicely by Marshall, then Ljungberg was fouled to end the threat.

At 81' Columbus had their golden chance to tie it up when a penalty kick was awarded after Hurtado arrived late to charge into Gaven's back near the end line. Unfortunately for Columbus, Schelloto missed the PK wide left. It was a huge bullet dodged by Seattle. Curiously, Columbus had benefited from a missed penalty kick by Ljungberg late when the two sides met in Seattle earlier in the season, allowing Columbus to escape Seattle with a draw. On this PK, Marshall was cautioned for delaying the kick, meaning that he will miss the next match due to yellow card accumulation.

It was tense after that. For Columbus, Rogers drove the ball well wide after substitute Patrick Ianni gave the ball away. Then for Seattle Ljungberg did well to carry the ball forward, but in the end passed to an offside substitute Sebastien Le Toux.

At 88' Ianni redemmed himself by breakiong up a dangerous attack near goal.

At the end Columbus had two half chances. Lenhart sent a quick shot well over the bar from 15 yards. Rogers had a chance from the 18, but it was deflected well over for a corner kick that went for naught.

Seattle had successfully weathered a lot of pressure in the second half to give Sigi Schmid a win in his return to Columbus. The win gave Seattle almost all of the points needed to win a playoff berth.

           CBS  SEA
Shots:     17    7
Saves:      2    2
Corners:    6    3
Fouls:      7   10
Offsides:   2    5

55' CBS: Moreno cautioned for diving in the penalty area
62' CBS: O'Rourke cautioned for chopping down Ljungberg near the halfway line
84' SEA: Marshall cautioned for delaying a restart
90' CBS: Lenhart cautioned for dissent

Referees: Ricardo Salazar; C.J. Morgante, Rob Fereday; Mikael Lundqvist

Attendance: 14,372

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle head coach Sigi Schmid

His overall thoughts on the match:
"The game of soccer is a strange game. Last week, we thought we were a little bit unlucky in New England, I think this week we had good fortune on our side. It's not often that Guillermo misses a PK. We had the post save us, they had the post save them; we had to dig down a little bit, it was a bit of a scrappy affair for us, but the Crew is a good team, they're the best team in the league. For us to be able to come in here and win one-nothing, no matter how it was, is something we're very proud of."

On his return to Columbus:
"The reception of the fans was tremendous. Obviously, once the game started - and especially at the end when we were hanging on - we got heckled a little bit, but that's to be imagined. It was very receptive, it was very good and I was very happy to be welcomed back that way."

Seattle forward Roger Levesque

On Seattle's mindset after securing three crucial points:
"Our main goal is to make the playoffs right now and we need every point we can get, so it started with tonight and these three points are unbelievably important. It'll be the same thing in Kansas City in two weeks; those points are going to be just as important as these were."

Seattle midfielder Brad Evans

On ending Columbus' regular season home unbeaten streak:
"Those little things are always in your mind. We talked about it a little bit this week, but most importantly like he [Schmid] says, it's mostly about getting to the playoffs. A streak's a streak; it's something you can kind of tip your hat to on their end. It's really impressive that they've had that long of a streak, so it was good to be a part of that as well and then coming back and getting the win is impressive. Like I said, it's a good step for our team."

Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller

His overall thoughts on the match:
"It was nice to have some things go our way. We had some decent chances to extend it, but at the same time you have to give them a lot of credit, they obviously weren't going to lose this record easily. They put some numbers forward, they threw it in the box, they made it difficult for us, but somehow we were able to hold on. Tyrone had a couple of tremendous clearances and everybody fought really well all the way around the field and that makes a big, big difference."

Columbus head coach Robert Warzycha

His overall thoughts on the match:
"We played a very good game. We played one of our best games, I would say, this season. The ball, for some reason, didn't want to go in the net. Sometimes, you have games like this, but overall, the performance was there and the players left their hearts out on the field."

On Seattle's goal:
"I think we had the momentum at that time, that wasn't definitely against the run of play. But the guys kept playing after the goal and we were pushing toward the goal and as I said, it just wasn't our night today."

Columbus midfielder Robbie Rogers

On the Crew's mentality after a tough loss:
"We'll bounce back from it, we always do, its what we've been doing for the past two years, so I'm not really worried. It's nice that we're still in first place and we have that cushion because of what we've done this season; we've worked hard to get to that point. Now we go to New England, a place where we won last year, and the year before that we got two ties out of there, so we've been pretty good there."

Columbus defender Gino Padula

On Columbus goals moving forward:
"We are already in the playoffs, so we have to look forward right now. We have three games left, and we have to try to win the Supporters Shield. This game is gone, so we have to look forward to our next game against New England."

His overall thoughts on the match:
"We controlled the game, we moved the ball well, we created chances, but they did some things very well and it's just one of those games where maybe we could play for two days and not score."

Columbus goalkeeper William Hesmer

On Columbus' regular season home unbeaten streak being snapped:
"It's disappointing; I know it's something we've taken a lot of pride in. Mostly for me, I'm really disappointed for the fans, because ever since they put together that 'Nordecke' section, we've made this place a fortress and we've fought hard for them. As you can tell at the end of the game tonight, they make everyody play with heart; whether you want to or not, you feel their passion. It can't help but be infectious to the guys on the field, and for whatever reason, goals weren't meant to go our way tonight."

Other match reports: