Vancouver 86ers 1 - 2 Seattle Sounders,
after extra time
Swangard Stadium, Burnaby, BC
24' SEA: Beech
84' VAN: Mobilio
94' SEA: Hattrup
VAN: Paul Dolan; Randy Samuel, Steve MacDonald, Jeff Skinner (81' Alfredo Valente); Paul Dailly, Joe Deacon (45' Oliver Heald), Nico Berg, Aaron Keay (74' Carl Valentine), Ian Clarke; Chris Clarke (45' Domenic Mobilio), Jason Jordan.
SEA: Dusty Hudock; Bernie James, Ryan Edwards, Scott Jenkins; Neil Megson (57' Kei Kinoshita), Paul Gelvezon, Dick McCormick, Ian Russell, Peter Hattrup; Patrick Beech (76' Fabian Davis), Erik Storkson.
In the final match of the A-League's regular season, the visiting Seattle Sounders took a 2-1 overtime win from the Vancouver 86ers. Patrick Beech headed in a cross from Dick McCormick to give Seattle the early lead, then Vancouver caught up when Domenic Mobilio netted a penalty kick late in the match for a 1-1 score after 90 minutes. Early in the overtime period, Peter Hattrup used a bit of alchemy to manufacture the golden goal.
Rookies Ryan Edwards and Ian Russell got rare starts and played well for the full 90+ minutes. Seattle rested five regulars: Mark Baena and Randy Mann (both injured), Brandon Prideaux and Jason Annicchero (suspended for accumulation of yellow cards), and David Hoggan (within a yellow card of a suspension).
Seattle had 60 fans sitting in a block, most transported there by a fan bus, and they did a great job of supporting the team with noise, led by some Pod regulars. Immediately after Hattrup's sudden death goal, coach Neil Megson got the team and the supporters together at the rail and led them in a song to the tune of Jingle Bells. We'll have to add that song to the Pod repertoire for away matches.
Seattle and Vancouver each fielded a 3-5-2 formation, with Edwards and Scott Jenkins at right and left back, respectively.
Hattrup served a warning to Vancouver's defense when he juked his marker to take the first shot of the match, chipping at the top far corner but missing.
From a busted Vancouver free kick play, Chris Clarke got loose for a good chance from 20 yards, but forward Erik Storkson was all the way back inside the goal area to make a fine block of a ball that otherwise would have found the back of the net. A minute later, Jason Jordan's weak header forced the first save of the match by Dusty Hudock.
A couple of feints left Hattrup's marker on the ground but his 25-yard shot curled over the bar.
Vancouver's Ian Clarke attacked up the right side and got by Jenkins for a shot from a steep angle, blasting the ball into the outside of the net. Jeff Skinner curled a cross from the left for another weak Jordan header and another Hudock save.
24' Beech (McCormick). Seattle struck suddenly for the 1-0 lead. An attack gave McCormick the ball deep on the left side. He crossed over the defense to the far post, where Beech headed the ball down near goalkeeper Paul Dolan's feet and into the net on the first bounce. Dolan had guessed top corner and had committed to the leap, only to watch the ball bounce under him.
McCormick's long free kick gave Storkson a chance to add to Seattle's lead, but Storkson's header sailed over the bar. An easy roller up the middle by Hattrup forced Dolan's first save, and the last 15 minutes of the half produced no more good chances other than a 30-yarder that Nico Berg sent well over Seattle's goal.
Halftime: Vancouver 0 - 1 Seattle
At the half, Vancouver sent on veterans Mobilio and Oliver Heald for C. Clarke and Joe Deacon. Kei Kinoshita would come on early in the half for Megson.
Seattle had the first chance of the half when Storkson flicked on a Hudock goal kick to Beech, who fought off his marker on a run up the middle for a shot from 15 yards, deflected over the bar by Dolan's arm for the match's best save.
Heald took Vancouver's first good shot, missing the top far corner.
Seattle rookie Russell crossed into the area for McCormick, who chipped over Dolan and just over the bar, too. McCormick was leveled just after releasing the shot, but the referee would not use his whistle on the play.
An 86er sent a low 18-yarder just wide of a diving Hudock and just wide of the far post.
Shortly after earning his first professional yellow card, Russell broke free at the halfway line and carried the ball inside Vancouver's penalty area before dishing off to Hattrup, who was free on the right. Dolan slowed Hattrup, who got by the keeper for a shot from the right, but sweeper Randy Samuel had retreated to the goal line and blocked the shot while Dolan recovered to grab the rebound.
Vancouver pressured Seattle's goal most of the balance of the second half. Samuel went forward to Seattle's 18-yard line and was served the ball for an open chance. He measured, then fired a rocket past Hudock and inside the far post, but Kei Kinoshita was on the goal line to block the blast. It would have been a great save if it had been Hudock making the stop, but Kinoshita made it even greater, stopping the shot with his chest (and running the risk of commotio cordis in the process, the ball was struck so hard).
A minute later, Heald's free kick to the near post was headed sharply, but just wide, by Mobilio. Hudock slid out to grab a couple of dangerous through balls just before Mobilio could get to them. From the left, Heald tried for the top far corner but Hudock backpedaled to save. Valentine's cross was headed down by MacDonald and the first bounce cleared the top corner.
During all this pressure, only one Seattle attack showed merit. Hattrup put McCormick free on the right. McCormick sent a diagonal cross back toward the spot for the charging Beech, whose first-touch shot sailed over the bar.
84' Mobilio. Vancouver's relentless pressure finally got them on the scoreboard. Jordan got past Hattrup and the rest of the defense on the left and Hattrup, half a step behind, tried to slide-tackle the ball out for a corner kick. The referee ruled that Hattrup made contact with Jordan before the ball, awarded Hattrup with a yellow card, and rewarded Vancouver with a penalty kick. Mobilio clinically blasted the PK shot inside the right post and the score was 1-1.
Vancouver earned two more shots before the half was over, but Jordan's shot from the left was saved by Hudock and in the final minute Dailly was just wide left with a shot up the middle.
Regulation: Vancouver 1 - 1 Seattle
Dailly took the first chance in sudden death overtime, heading a cross over the bar.
Kinoshita earned a shot, but struck it weakly and Dolan saved.
94' Hattrup (McCormick). Hattrup was an alchemist, manufacturing this golden goal out of seemingly nothing. He received the ball from McCormick near the left touch line, beat one defender with a turn to the inside, used feints to beat a couple more defenders as he dribbled along the 18-yard line, then sent a low shot between Dolan and the far post for the match winner.
Final: Vancouver 1 - 2 Seattle
Seattle won the season series three matches to two. Vancouver took the first two matches in overtime, then Seattle won 4-0 and 2-0 before today's overtime win.
Seattle finished second in the Pacific Division and third in the Western Conference. As third seed, the Sounders will host the sixth seed, Orange County, in the first round of the playoffs. That round will consist of a single match, in Memorial Stadium on Sunday, September 13, 5:05 PM. As eighth seed, Vancouver's first round match of the playoffs will be at San Diego, the first seed.
Shots: VAN 18, SEA 15
Saves: Dolan 3, Hudock 6
Corners: VAN 11, SEA 2
Fouls: VAN 11, SEA 23
Offside: VAN 2, SEA 1
63' Russell (SEA) cautioned for pulling down I. Clarke after being beaten
70' Hudock (SEA) cautioned for wasting time on a goal kick
83' Hattrup (SEA) cautioned for fouling Jordan near Seattle's goal