SEATTLE, WASHINGTON – It would not be a derby match without a little drama, would it?
Captain Pedro Morales scored two penalty kick goals to lead Vancouver Whitecaps FC (1W-2L-0D) to a roller-coaster 2-1 win over Seattle Sounders FC (0W-3L-0D) on Saturday night at CenturyLink Field, giving the ‘Caps their first win of the MLS season and an early lead for this year’s Cascadia Cup.
Each of the three scores came off penalty or free kicks, as the physical affair saw six different players shown a yellow card.
Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson made three changes to his XI from the last match, re-inserting Week 1 starters Fraser Aird and Christian Bolaños, and giving Blas Pérez his first start for Vancouver, who lined up in a 4-4-2 formation for the first time this season.
The adjustments paid dividends early when Pérez played a perfectly-placed ball to an advancing Bolaños, who drew a foul from Joevin Jones inside the 18-yard box when the defender clipped the Costa Rican midfielder’s heel. Morales slotted in the ensuing penalty kick to give the ‘Caps the lead in the 10th minute.
It would be the first of three game-changing fouls on the evening.
Sounders FC looked to equalize in the 24th minute when a corner kick found Nelson Valdez for a header but keeper David Ousted made a leaping save, getting his fingertips on the attempt. Seattle would keep the pressure on especially from the left side but Aird and Kendall Waston provided a steady presence to keep Seattle scoreless in the first half.
Seattle would draw level in the 52nd minute after Morales was whistled for a foul on a streaking Clint Dempsey just outside the box. Ivanschitz took the resulting free kick, whipping it around the ‘Caps wall and directly into the top-left corner for his first goal of the season.
The match would turn again 20 minutes later. Pérez, making his 100th MLS regular season appearance, was fouled in the box by centre back Chad Marshall and led to another Morales penalty kick and the eventual game-winner.
However, there would be more chances in open play late. First it was Dempsey, who found himself free after trailing on a breakaway but his 80th-minute attempt went wide. Then in added time, substitute Cristian Techera got loose inside but his shot just missed the target.
The ‘Caps would not need the insurance goal as they held on to win the first Cascadia Cup fixture of the year.
Whitecaps FC return home to BC Place on Saturday, March 26 when they host Western Conference side Houston Dynamo. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. PT (TSN2 and TSN 1040).
NEWS AND NOTES:
Robinson started with two attackers up front in four regular season matches last season – April 18 at Salt Lake, August 29 at Houston, October 3 at San Jose, and October 14 at Dallas. In 2014, he used a 4-4-2 diamond in seven matches… Following tonight’s match, four starters leave for international duty: Bolaños and Waston with Costa Rica, Pérez with Panama, and Tim Parker with the US U-23 side… Left back Jordan Harvey made his 116th regular season start tonight for WFC, equalling Gershon Koffie for the club’s MLS record… Recently-acquired midfielder Andrew Jacobson made his debut, coming on as a 78th-minute substitute.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Blas Pérez
Referee: Mark Geiger
10′ – VAN – Pedro Morales (penalty kick)
52′ – SEA – Andreas Ivanschitz
74′ – VAN – Pedro Morales (penalty kick)
Shots: Seattle 19 – Vancouver 9
Shots on Goal: Seattle 5 – Vancouver 7
Saves: Seattle 5 – Vancouver 4
Fouls: Seattle 14 – Vancouver 20
Offsides: Seattle 2 – Vancouver 1
Corners: Seattle 8 – Vancouver 1
35′ – VAN – Octavio Rivero
44′ – SEA – Andreas Ivanschitz
51′ – VAN – Pedro Morales
71′ – SEA – Tyron Mears
73′ – SEA – Chad Marshall
82′ – VAN – Blas Pérez
Seattle Sounders FC
24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 20.Zach Scott ©, 14.Chad Marshall, 33.Joevin Jones; 7.Cristian Roldan, 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 23.Andreas Ivanschitz (11.Aaron Kovar 88′); 13.Jordan Morris (39.Oalex Anderson 72′), 16.Nelson Valdez, 2.Clint Dempsey
Substitutes not used
1.Tyler Miller, 15.Dylan Remick, 18.Nathan Sturgis, 25.Tony Alfaro, 91.Oniel Fisher
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 8.Fraser Aird, 4.Kendall Waston, 26.Tim Parker, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales © (9.Masato Kudo 84′), 23.Kekuta Manneh (13.Cristian Techera 83′); 27.Blas Pérez, 29.Octavio Rivero (17.Andrew Jacobson 78′)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 3.Sam Adekugbe, 11.Nicolas Mezquida, 14.Cole Seiler