Vancouver: Dolan; Berg, Rattee (Muirhead 73), MacDonald, Sumner; Dailly, Franks (I. Clarke 33), Dalrymple, Evans; Kusch, Mobilio.
Seattle: Hudock; James (Crothers 83), McNiel, Jenkins,
(Barton 69), Aunger, Stoddard (Kinoshita 46), Gelvezon (Hattrup 46);
Cautions: Mobilio (V), Kusch (V) , Aunger (S), Watson (S).
Shots: VAN 9, SEA 8
Saves: Dolan 5, Hudock 3
Corners: VAN 8, SEA 4
Fouls: VAN 22, SEA 16
Offsides: VAN 1, SEA 2
Referee: Sonya Denoncourt
In a battle for first place in the A-League's Pacific Division, the
visiting Seattle Sounders and the Vancouver Eighty-Sixers battled to a
scoreless draw in regulation time, then Geoff Aunger's sudden strike just
57 seconds into overtime give Seattle the win. Vancouver had generated
more good scoring chances throughout the match, but both
defenses were stingy. The second half saw the return to the Sounders of 1995 A-League Most Valuable Player Peter Hattrup.
The first half was scrappy on the wet pitch, with referee Sonya Denoncourt using her yellow card three times, always for a Canadian - however two of those Canadians were the Sounders' Aunger and Mark Watson. Both sides lined up in a 4-4-2 formation. Vancouver had more opportunities to score in the opening half, the best being Domenic Mobilio's 15-yard shot that hit the top of the crossbar and went out.
Seattle opened the second half with Hattrup and Kei Kinoshita replacing Paul Gelvezon and Justin Stoddard at the outside midfield spots. Hattrup cleared waivers from the MLS Dallas Burn earlier in the week.
Early in the second half, Seattle keeper Dusty Hudock had to work to snag Craig Dalrymple's dangerous cross at the far post. Hudock would be very busy the whole half dealing with crosses.
Hattrup nearly put Seattle on the board at 59' when he stole the ball
from Richie Sumner near Vancouver's penalty area, dribbled into the area
and shot as Sumner tripped him from behind. The looping shot was headed
just under the crossbar, but Paul Dolan leaped and just barely got a hand
on it to push it over for a corner kick. Hattrup picked himself up, turned
to the referee and pointed to Sumner, wondering why no foul was called.
But he knew, as did veteran fans, that the foul wasn t quite nasty enough
to draw a penalty kick, and Hattrup was just barely inside the area, and
he got off an excellent shot anyway, and if the foul had been called Sumner
would have had to have been red carded for it, so
most refs are going to be reluctant to call that foul with all of its consequences.
Vancouver substitute Ian Clarke, who had caused trouble for the Sounders in a previous match, settled a clearance from a Paul Dailly cross and measured a shot from 15 yards, but put it wall over the bar. Nico Berg tried from 35 yards, but was a yard over.
For Seattle, Watson's header from an Aunger corner kick was cleared off the line by Dailly at the near post. Hattrup's 25 yard free kick was on goal, but easily pushed over by Dolan.
Vancouver tried to finish the match in the last four minutes starting with Garrett Kusch's header from a corner kick, just over the bar. I. Clarke's shot from the left was deflected enough to just clear the bar. In the final seconds Ivor Evans unleashed a wicked 25 yard drive towards the upper right corner, but Hudock got there to push it over with one hand. The whistle then sounded, denying Vancouver the corner kick.
After 90 minutes without a goal, we expected that the overtime would
end scoreless as well. But the goal happened before a minute could tick
off the clock. Vancouver sent a long ball forward and as the pack was running
towards Seattle's goal, substitute Kieran Barton, now sweeping, used his
power to volley the ball back over the pack and into
Vancouver's penalty area. Chugger Adair tried to get to the ball first, but a defender beat him to it and cleared the ball from the area, but not far enough. You could read Aunger's mind as he saw that he would get to the clearance first with open space, and Dolan had come well off his line to deal with Barton's long ball. Aunger chest-trapped the ball and
struck his volley true, bending it over the leaping Dolan and under the bar for the match winner, stunning the home crowd. The phrase "sudden death" was appropriate for this overtime period.