SEATTLE, WA – Vancouver Whitecaps FC (9W-14L-7D) went toe-to-toe with Seattle Sounders FC (10W-13L-5D) in a spirited derby match on Saturday afternoon, but came up just short in the end.
An 81st-minute Jordan Morris header proved the difference between the longtime rivals as Whitecaps FC fell 1-0 in front of a crowd of 47,111 at CenturyLink Field.
It was a heartbreaker for the ‘Caps, who were playing their third game in eight days.
They fought tooth and nail for 90 minutes and hit the post late in the game, but it wasn’t enough to prevent Seattle from leapfrogging them in the Western Conference playoff race.
This one felt like a playoff game itself.
There were crunching tackles, big time saves, and a lot of desperation from both sides.
Seattle controlled over 60 per cent of possession in the opening frame. They had some decent chances, too. Nicolas Lodeiro had a whopping six shot attempts and Andreas Ivanschitz had four himself, including a curler that missed by inches in the 22nd minute.
For the most part, though, the ‘Caps managed to keep them away from danger.
That was thanks in large part to the play of defensive midfielder Matias Laba, who was breaking up plays all over the park and making life difficult for Lodeiro, as well as the centre back pairing of David Edgar and Kendall Waston, who produced some timely tackles and clearances.
Although they conceded possession, Vancouver looked dangerous in the final third.
In the 14th minute, Pedro Morales sent Erik Hurtado in behind with a nice ball over the top. Hurtado lobbed the onrushing Stefan Frei, but Seattle’s keeper recovered well by leaping into the air to punch the ball away.
The ‘Caps also came close in the 24th minute, when Nicolas Mezquida headed a Hurtado over the goal at the back post.
With neither team content with a draw, things opened up considerably after the break.
Seattle nearly opened the scoring in the 61st minute, but David Ousted made a miraculous goalline save to keep the ‘Caps in it.
Then, just six minutes later, Whitecaps FC substitute Giles Barnes ran onto a Morales long ball before hitting the far post from the right side of the box.
Both teams kept coming, though, and Seattle eventually broke through in the 81st minute.
Lodeiro provided the service from the right, and Morris flicked in a header from close range to seal the win for Seattle – and snap Vancouver’s four-match MLS winning streak at CenturyLink.
Budweiser Man of the Match: Kendall Waston
Referee: Jair Marufo
81′ – SEA – Jordan Morris (Nicolas Lodeiro, Erik Friberg)
Possession: Seattle 62.6% – Vancouver 37.4%
Shots: Seattle 18 – Vancouver 8
Shots on Goal: Seattle 2 – Vancouver 0
Saves: Seattle 0 – Vancouver 1
Fouls: Seattle 7 – Vancouver 13
Offsides: Seattle 0 – Vancouver 2
Corners: Seattle 12 – Vancouver 2
39′ – VAN – Cristian Techera
90′ + 1′ – SEA – Tyrone Mears
90′ + 1′ – SEA – Nelson Valdez
90′ + 3′ – VAN – David Edgar
Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.David Ousted; 6.Jordan Smith, 18.David Edgar, 4.Kendall Waston, 2.Jordan Harvey; 7.Christian Bolaños, 15.Matías Laba, 77.Pedro Morales, 13.Cristian Techera (28.Giles Barnes 62′); 11.Nicolás Mezquida (67.Alphonso Davies 71′), 19.Erik Hurtado (27.Blas Pérez 83′)
Substitutes not used
70.Paolo Tornaghi, 9.Masato Kudo, 17.Andrew Jacobson, 26.Tim Parker
Seattle Sounders FC
24.Stefan Frei; 4.Tyrone Mears, 14.Chad Marshall, 29.Roman Torres, 33.Joevin Jones; 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 7.Cristian Roldan; 21.Alvaro Fernandez (16.Nelson Valdez 62′), 10.Nicolas Lodeiro, 23.Andreas Ivanschitz (8.Erik Friberg 72′); 13.Jordan Morris (20.Zach Scott 90′ + 4′)
Substitutes not used
1.Tyler Miller, 9.Herculez Gomez, 39.Oalex Anderson, 91.Oniel Fisher