September 20, 1998

Seattle Sounders  1 - 2  Minnesota Thunder
Memorial Stadium, Seattle
A-League Playoffs, 2nd Round (2 matches), 2nd Leg

19' MIN: Lagos
72' MIN: Anderson
58' SEA: McCormick

SEA: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Jason Annicchero, Brandon Prideaux; Scott Jenkins (45' Neil Megson), David Hoggan, Dick McCormick, Peter Hattrup; Ian Russell, Erik Storkson, Mark Baena (71' Patrick Beech).

MIN: John Swallen; John Coughlin, Mark Abboud, Don Gramenz, John Sylvester; Kevin Anderson, Stoian Mladenov (80' Aaron Leventhal), Morgan Zeba, Constantin Stanici (64' Gabe Garcia); Gerard Lagos (77' Garfield Shaw), Amos Magee (45' Tim Foster).

Match report by Ron Stickney:

The Minnesota Thunder came into town after winning the first leg of the home and away playoff series two nights earlier by a score of 2-1 over the Seattle Sounders. The Thunder won this leg as well, by the same score, to take the series and advance to the Western Conference Championship Series against the winner of San Diego vs. New Orleans. The Sounders' season ended with the loss.

Gerard Lagos finished a short cross from Morgan Zeba to give Minnesota the early lead, and their defense kept the Sounders from coming back. Kevin Anderson converted a penalty kick in the 72nd minute to virtually seal Seattle's fate. An accurate shot up the middle by Dick McCormick gave Seattle a goal, but it was a case of too little, too late.

First Half

Seattle forward Mark Baena, playing with pain on a bruised right heel, took the first good shot of the match when Erik Storkson flicked on a Dusty Hudock punt, but the chip shot missed the top far corner.

Morgan Zeba took Minnesota's first shot, a 20-yarder caught by Hudock at the top right corner. Constantin Stanici was left unmarked for a 25-yard shot from the left, but he just missed the far post.

19' Lagos (Zeba). Zeba took the ball to the bye line on the left and sent a low cross to the 6-yard line, where Gerard Lagos beat Jason Annicchero to first-time it past Hudock and into the ceiling of the net to give Minnesota the early 1-0 lead. Now, Seattle would need two goals to win the home and away series.

Annicchero got his head on a David Hoggan's corner kick, but the ball was a bit too high and Annicchero couldn't get the shot under the cross bar. Annicchero soon had another header attempt and this one rebounded off the cross bar and was cleared from the goal line by the Minnesota defense. The last 23 minutes of the half generated only one good chance when Scott Jenkins tried to volley in a clearance from a Seattle corner kick and sent it well over the bar.

Halftime:  Seattle  0 - 1  Minnesota

At the half, player/coach Neil Megson came on for Jenkins, while Minnesota changed to a more defensive lineup by replacing forward Amos Magee with midfielder Tim Foster.

Seattle generated several chances early in the half, but couldn't finish them. Now playing as left midfielder, Peter Hattrup sent a long pass from the touch line to Storkson's head, but Baena couldn't quite reach the flick-on and it sailed just wide of the far post. Brandon Prideaux's 30-yard attempt was a yard high. Megson took a shot from 15 yards that was just over the bar. A Sounder throw-in from near the right corner flag bounced across the goal mouth, rattling off a few players and exiting the side of the goal area harmlessly.

Minnesota's first shot of the half didn't come until the 65th minute, when Zeba's 30-yarder was just wide of the far post.

72' Anderson (PK). In a call that several of the Sounders argued about, a penalty was whistled after Annicchero ran into Lagos' back while both were up trying to reach a Minnesota cross. Neither of them could reach the ball, which was cleared by another Sounder defender, but Lagos had gone straight up and he was knocked down by Annicchero and referee Valenzuela called the foul and pointed to the spot. Kevin Anderson fired the penalty kick perfectly into the lower left corner to give Minnesota an insurance goal that was worth two, as Seattle would now need four goals to take the series.

For the most part, Minnesota's defense kept Seattle from the good chances for the remainder of the match.

84' McCormick (Annicchero). Pressured in the air at the Minnesota 18-yard line, Annicchero could only knock the ball away from goal. McCormick was there for the drop and blasted a 25-yard shot up the middle and inside the left post to put Seattle on the scoreboard.

Seattle was unable to generate any more good chances as the last six minutes of their season ticked away.

Final: Seattle  1 -  2  Minnesota


Shots: SEA 13, MIN 11
Saves: Hudock 3, Swallen 1
Corners: SEA 5, MIN 3
Fouls: SEA 9, MIN 15
Offside: SEA 1, MIN 1

13' McCormick (SEA) cautioned for a hard foul on Magee
25' Gramenz (MIN) cautioned for holding Russell
27' Annicchero (SEA) cautioned for a hard foul on Lagos
30' Jenkins (SEA) cautioned for a late foul on Zeba
62' Zeba (MIN) cautioned for kicking the ball away after it went into touch
66' Hoggan (SEA) cautioned for a foul on Zeba
84' Megson (SEA) cautioned

Referee: Valenzuela
Attendance: 3,597