2012 Jun 30

Sounders allow last-second goal to settle for a road draw at New England

New England Revolution  2 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA

12' NE: Saer Sene (Blake Brettschneider)
23' SEA: Eddie Johnson (Mauro Rosales)
36' SEA: Eddie Johnson (Marc Burch)

90' NE: Diego Fagundez (Fernando Cardenas)

New England: Matt Reis; Florian Lechner (Diego Fagundez 81'), AJ Soares, Stephen McCarthy, Chris Tierney; Benny Feilhaber, Shalrie Joseph, Clyde Simms (Kelyn Rowe 70'), Saer Sene; Lee Nguyen, Blake Brettschneider (Fernando Cardenas 71').
Substitutes not used: Bobby Shuttleworth, Ryan Guy, Sainey Nyassi, Darrius Barnes.

Seattle: Andrew Weber (Bryan Meredith 46'); Adam Johansson, Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch; Brad Evans (Alvaro Fernandez 56'), Osvaldo Alonso, Andy Rose, Alex Caskey (Leo Gonzalez 80'); Mauro Rosales, Eddie Johnson.
Substitutes not used: Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Roger Levesque, Sammy Ochoa, Cordell Cato.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

The Sounders were clearly robbed by the referee crew in this match. Eddie Johnson scored two goals for the Sounders, but two tainted goals gave New England an undeserved 2-2 draw.

Saer Sene had an early chance for New England when Chris Tierney's cross led to a loose ball in front of goal. An attacker tapped a short drop pass to Sene for an open ten-yard shot, but he skied it when he should have finished it.

Seattle's early chance came at 9' when Andy Rose used his head to flick on a shot that landed on the roof.

New England's Clyde Simms continued the pattern when he got an open look and sent a 16-yard shot over the bar from a free kick play.

12' NE: Sene (Brettschneider). Seattle's defense let Blake Brettschneider win the ball inside the penalty area and cross in front of goal. Sene was clearly offside (confirmed by the replay) when he tapped it in from right in front of goal, but the assistant referee apparently had a mental lapse on the play and failed to raise his flag. 1-0 New England.

23' SEA: Johnson (Rosales). Mauro Rosales stole the ball from Florian Lechner just outside the New England penalty area and worked a wall pass with Alex Caskey to get open for a diagonal cross that was curled nicely in front of Johnson's run up the middle. Johnson got up and headed it down and in. 1-1.

Caskey had a chance at 32', just missing the ball when trying a diving header in front of goal from Brad Evans' cross.

36' SEA: Johnson (Burch). Johnson could not quite reach the first cross that came in from the right, but Marc Burch kept it in play and served a cross to the far post from the left. Johnson got well up to shoulder it in, as goalkeeper Matt Reis came out for the ball but could not reach it, and neither could defender AJ Soares. 2-1 Seattle.

Brettschneider nearly leveled the match a minute later with a shot at the lower right corner from the arc, but goalkeeper Andrew Weber pushed the ball wide.

At 45' Shalrie Joseph tried a 20-yarder up the middle that was deflected wide, and the corner kick was punched clear by Weber.

The second half opened with Bryan Meredith replacing Weber in goal for Seattle. Weber had injured himself in the first half when sending a ball long.

As in the first half, Tierney gave Sene a chance when he was served at the penalty spot for an open shot, and Sene skied the shot. Benny Feilhaber was next with a chance as his long free kick cleared the crowd, and Meredith was there to save it.

For Seattle in the 69th minute, Osvaldo Alonso made a nice far-post run and was served by Johnson for a header that went barely over the bar.

Fifteen minutes went by with nothing close, then Seattle rookie Andy Rose headed a Rosales corner kick a yard wide of the top far corner.

Then New England poured on the pressure for the last five minutes plus added time. Sene came close, heading substitute Fernando Cardenas' cross inches over the bar. A New England free kick from just to the side of the penalty area was cleared by Seattle's defense. Feilhaber put Cardenas in and he tried near post, but Meredith was there for the save. Joseph's 25-yarder was punched away by Meredith. Substitute Diego Fagundez was served with a nice cross but headed it wide.

90' NE: Fagundez (Cardenas). New England scored a tying goal seconds before the final whistle. It was another tainted goal, as they got the ball after a free kick was awarded to the Revolution when replays showed it was Seattle's Alvaro Fernandez who was actually fouled. On the attack, Cardenas crossed in front of goal and Fagundez got to it first to head a shot back across goal and in. 2-2.

           NE   SEA
Shots:     14    10
Saves:      2     1
Corners:    4     2
Fouls:      8    20
Offsides:   1     5

18' SEA: Rose cautioned
50' SEA: Alonso cautioned
90' SEA: Gonzalez cautioned

Referees: Edvin Jurisevic; Anthony Vasoli, James Conlee; Jose Carlos Rivero

Attendance: 15,264

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

"Obviously, it's a difficult game for us. We play a ton of games, playing on Sunday and coming back and playing on Tuesday and then flying cross-country and playing here, it puts a big burden on the team physically. So I was very pleased with how we responded. I was pleased with how we responded in the first half, in the second half, and we did what we had to do.

"You don't expect to have to make a goalkeeper sub so that would have given me one more field sub. We could have brought on fresh legs. I think you saw a lot of tired people out there at the end. Andy Rose played 90 minutes on Tuesday in a very hard-fought game, when Caskey got out, he was pretty tired as well. Mauro was tired. Eddie Johnson was pretty tired at the end. So if we had one more sub that could have made a difference for us, as well.

"(Eddie Johnson) did well. We thought we could open up their center backs and we did. Two good crosses -- one from Mauro, one from Marc Burch, and two good headers by Eddie who put us in the position to win the game.

"We felt (Marc Burch) could get forward on that side because Sene doesn't defend as much on that side, so we felt we could get a little forward on the left hand side. And he obviously served a great ball.

"We didn't give up the first goal against San Jose, but playing from behind is obviously difficult. But we came back today and we got ourselves on top. But it's just a situation like I said. In the second half, we have to do what we have to do in terms of (not having) the legs anymore to be able to get forward, our fitness and travel and everything else. They moved the ball well and they created spaces and created openings and we have to bunker in and defend. That was a reflection of where we're at right now physically with the amount of games we played."

Osvaldo Alonso

"It's really hard, to be winning 2-1 and then they score in the last minute. But now we have to focus on the next game and move forward.

"We just played a team that was ready to play. I think everybody had the opportunity to play a full 90 minutes, so I think today is a little disappointing with the tie. Now we look forward to our next game against Salt Lake.

"We just stayed thinking positively and we played with energy, we played with passion. We know we are team that's able to play good soccer and beat that team. We came back and we scored two goals and unfortunately they scored in the last minute, and we're just disappointed in that.

"(Eddie Johnson) was good. He scored two great goals - two headers so we're happy for that. He's going to be scoring more goals for us, so that's really good for us.

"We should have gotten out of this game with a win, and we have a good team to win. So we just have to look forward. We play good enough to win and we showed last year that we can do it."

Eddie Johnson

"I was talking to the boys, and the goals don't mean anything if we're not winning when we score goals.

"It's just something we practice on, the out-back passing forward, back and then out wide. One of our strengths is getting the ball out wide and serving the ball in the box. We've got guys who can score, who are dangerous on crosses. We're a big team and were playing to our strengths, and we kind of went from playing to our strengths as the game went on.

"We're all just fighting right now. We know it's not going to be pretty soccer anymore. We got to go away from the style that this team's known to play and win games scrapping, and fighting and battling. We showed character coming from behind, but at the same time, a draw doesn't mean anything if your 20 seconds away, leading 2-1. It doesn't mean anything, not really. This is a competitive league. Any time you can steal three points you've got to take the three points. I'm not just saying that cause I'm scoring goals now. It's just that mentality within our team. We got to find ways to win games. We're not finding ways to win games, you know? We just keep putting pressure on ourselves; it's frustrating. You look around the locker room at the guys and it hurts. We're going out and putting everything in and we're just making mistakes at the end."

New England Revolution

Jay Heaps - Head Coach

"I think the game was an emotional game, obviously. And what we did, when we came out we changed up, obviously, you could see what we did tactically and took advantage. And we scored and I thought we could have scored again. I thought we could've had two, three goals in the first couple of minutes. And then we made two mistakes and they scored two goals, and the rest of the game was trying to get back in. Credit our guys - they keep believing we can get back in games. Unfortunately, we didn't get the win, but it's better than zero points. We'll take the one.

"Tactically, I don't know if you guys noticed, we went with a little tactical shift. I thought that by putting Saer wider, it opened up some space for him and it paid dividends right away when he almost could've scored. But unfortunately as the game went on, we made the exact same mistakes we made in Toronto. And believe me, we worked on that all week, so that's even more frustrating.

"(Tonight's formation) was more to open it up so Saer didn't have to get a knee up his back all the time, and to get into a spot offensively. We felt that Flo - it was Saer's job to take the outside back and Flo was to cover the ... wide midfielder. But I thought that, tactically, things were going our way. We didn't get close enough on a cross, unfortunately, on the second one, it was bad all the way around. It was bad pressure, it was bad by Matt Reis, he's got to come out and get that, and AJ can put a body on. So there's three guys who're at fault.

"Did I sub the kitchen sink in at one point? I think if you noticed, we tried to play up through them. So rather than just bringing in just bodies, we wanted to try to piece them apart because they were sound defensively. I didn't think we were going to get a goal on a header - and I didn't think it was going to be Diego (Fagundez) on a header - but I thought that we were going to pick them apart and we had a lot of chances to do so ... we certainly should've had more from this game.

"It also had a lot to do with Alonso. You've got to give respect where respect's due. Alonso is a good midfielder and he basically plays the position of two players out there. And they can lean on him. So we didn't want Benny to go man-on-man with him and have to defend Alonso going forward and back. So we went with two defensive midfielders allowing Benny to be where he was and free to get the ball. But Benny did put a good clip in defensively and in the second half had more energy it looked like to orchestrate. He almost got through there at the end a couple of times when he was moving, but he had a lot of legs left. And that's why we wanted to have that triangle in the middle.

"I think it shows a good resolve. It shows that we have that instinct that says, 'uh uh, not today - we're going to fight to the end.' Unfortunately, the two games were almost mirror images of each other - to give up two unanswered goals on two headers. To me, it makes my blood boil - not blood boil, that's a bad expression. It makes me upset that because we work on those things and it's not anything other than owning up to it. Owning it's coming in and you've got to do better ... it's just got to be on the player at that point.

"He was sharp. He's been sharp all week and he was sharp last week. He was due. He was due. I wanted to get him in earlier, but I didn't want to over-sub. Sometimes you just sub, sub, sub, sub. Sometimes you want to stagger the subs."

Saer Sene

"I had the first action, but I didn't score. On the second one, Blake did well and I scored. After that they scored ... and then we scored a goal at the end. We're lucky we scored one in the end.

"I think (Seattle) only had two chances to score today, and personally, I had two good chances to score. Normally we have to win this game today. If you start to play like in the second half, I think we score maybe four or five.

"We let them score. The concentration on the two goals ... we have to be careful for that in the next game. The good point is we kept going and we scored at the end. It is nice. We got one point.

"Today we played with one striker, and I played on the right side. This is a position I feel good, on my left foot. This is not new for me. We do it well. If we start the game like in the second half, we will win this game. I have a lot of options, I can go inside on my left foot or play in my right back. We will see next game."

Diego Fagundez

"Yeah it's been a while actually ... the first thing (Jay Heaps) said of course was, 'You go in there, this is your night and let's get the first goal of this year right now' ... It was a good ball by Fernando. He does his little moves, beat the defender, crossed it, and Saer went near post. He was trying to go for the header, got fouled and I just followed through behind him. It was there.

"I don't know where Fernando was going; it could have gone either way. But we scored so that's all that matters right now ... I don't think it's about battle, I think it's about whoever gets the ball first. So usually when I'm looking for that spot I'm looking to get open instead of (trying to) hit the defender. So I'm open, at least.

"When you're losing the first thing you think is let's go forward and let's try scoring. So going into the 81st minute, I was thinking we need to score. I just gave it all I had.

"Last year, I had a good goal against Seattle. This year I get another goal, so I guess this is a step forward right now. I'm going to keep working hard in practice and keep going forward."