Vancouver - Seattle 1 - 2 Reed (V) 39' (1st) Jason Dunn (S) 1' (2nd) Heale (S) 7' (2nd) Attendance: 4,021Vancouver: Dolan; Macdonald, Dasovic, Norman, McKinty; Berg, Evans (Dailly), Macey (Slater), Valentine (Sibiya); Aunger, Reed.
This comes from Ken Butler:
Much though it pains me to say it, this game was won by the better team. Seattle were strong and aggressive, and showed their greater familiarity with the surface.
The 86ers shuffled their lineup from last week's game, playing Rob Reed up front with Aunger, and Dasovic in central defence partnering Macdonald. But it didn't seem to help in the first fifteen minutes, which the Sounders dominated completely, pegging the 86ers back in their own half for long periods, though without creating much in the way of goalscoring chances. The best they did was a Megson header from a Medved cross, which needed to be headed almost off the line.
After this, the 86ers played themselves into the game. From a Valentine cross, Aunger played the ball to Reed, but the ball took too long to sit down and Reed's shot was blocked. From an Evans cross, Valentine hit a first-time volley which was just too high. Later, Valentine was again the provider, putting in Aunger, who shot wide with the keeper advancing, and a corner of Valentine's resulted in a Macdonald far post header which was well saved by Hahnemann. All this enterprise deserved a goal, and the goal came six minutes before the break. Valentine waited -- and waited -- for McKinty to make an overlapping run down the right, the full back's cross was nicely placed at the far post, and Reed was there to direct a firm downward header into the net. Things were looking pretty good at the break, but....
In previous meetings, Seattle had beaten the 86ers using the pace of their forwards, something that had not been evident in the first half. But, within a minute, we were reminded. A long ball from Hattrup found Jason Dunn with a step or two on the defenders, and he was not going to be caught, slipping the ball tidily under Dolan to level the score. Just as they had done early in the first half, Seattle proceeded to dominate the game, but now they were looking threatening. Dolan had to be sharp to push a 25-yarder from McCormick around his right post, and saved smartly again from the same player a minute later. Everybody stopped, thinking the ball had gone out for a corner, but (and this must be a first on turf!) the ball stayed in play. Jason Dunn was first to react, firing the ball across from the right, and Heale found himself with a tap-in to give the visitors the lead.
The Sounders could have had a third soon afterwards. Hattrup worked hard down the right to get a cross in, but Jason Dunn couldn't get a touch as the ball came over. After this, there was a good deal of scrappy play, as the visitors made sure not to give anything away, and the 86ers couldn't create enough to mount any real pressure. Their best chance came from a nice combination between Reed and the substitute Slater; Reed appeared to have a good chance, but by the time he could shoot, a defender managed to get in and block it. As it was, the visitors should have been awarded a third goal. Hattrup got away down the left wing, and passed to an unmarked McCormick about 25 yards out. The midfielder's shot hit the crossbar and bounced down and out, but the angle of the bounce suggested that the ball did in fact cross the line before coming out again. (My seat looks down on the halfway line -- nothing but the best for your reporter! -- so someone nearer that goal would have had a better view, but, as I say, my impression is that it was a goal. This seemed to be Alan Hinton's impression too -- he had a few words to say, as is his wont.) As it was, it didn't matter; the visitors were deserved winners, and on the strength of their results so far, look to be the team to beat in the A-league again.