Vancouver 2 (Hurtado, Koffie) – Seattle 2 (Barrett, Pineda)
Vancouver dominated for large stretch of the match but were behind the 8 ball when Chad Barrett’s header beat David Ousted in the 36th minute. Erik Hurtado would restore balance with a great individual effort before Gershon Koffie would take advantage of a Stefan Frei blunder to give the Whitecaps a 2-1 lead in the 2nd half, before a dubious penalty call against Jay DeMerit gave Gonzalo Pineda a chance to chip Ousted from the spot to tie the match 2-2. An entertaining match was marred by poor decisions by the referee in a match where the Whitecaps were ultimately disappointed with result but not the performance.
The Vancouver Whitecaps returned to action 10 days after the Canadian Championship semi-final to host the Seattle Sounders at BC Place in MLS action Saturday afternoon, a match doubling as the first round in the Cascadia Cup, which Vancouver one last season. Whitecaps head coach Carl Robinson went with the same lineup that gave him a 1-0 victory against Columbus in their last league match save for Nigel Reo-Coker deputising for regular right back Steven Beitashour.
The Whitecaps would start off with a couple of chances early, with Kekuta Manneh stinging the palms of Sounders keeper Stefan Frei, and then Gershon Koffie unleashing a shot just wide from outside the box. Koffie would then hit the crossbar on 7 minutes in a further signal of the Whitecaps attacking intent. For all of Vancouver’s attacking intent though it was Seattle who would get on the board first, with Chad Barrett getting a free header on goal past the diving David Ousted to give the Sounders a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. The Whitecaps thoughwould respond right back through Erik Hurtado on 39 minutes, who received the ball from Pedro Morales before dribbling past two defenders then blasting it overtop of Frei to tie the match at 1-1.
Gershon Koffie would earn a yellow card in the 41st minute for diving after being challenged on a play in the box. Matias Laba would join him in the book on 43 minutes for a foul on Obafemi Martins in the center of midfield. Sebastian Fernandez would then zing a shot just over the bar in first half stoppage time for the last signifigant action of the first half. Teams would go into the break 1-1.
In the 2nd half there was a little pushing and shoving early on after Osvaldo Alsonso pushed the ball out of Carl Robinson’s hands as he went to retrieve it. No cards ended up being shown on the play as the teams got together near the midfield sideline.
Seattle would be forced to make their first substitution on 56 minutes as Djimi Traore would come off with an injury and Brad Evans, recently cut from the US world cup team, came on to replace him.
Both treams would trade chances around the 60 minute mark, with Kekuta Manneh beating two defenders on a through ball before being denied by Stefan Frei. At the other end the ball would come out to Alonso at the top of the box before he would squirrel his shot wide of the target.
The Whitecaps would take the lead after a mistake by Stefan Frei, who saved the ball from going out of play in the corner, only to punt it to Gershon Koffie who lobbed it towards goal and into the net with Frei out of position to give the ‘Caps a 2-1 lead.
Soon after the restart, Sebastian Fernandez would earn a yellow card for a foul on the far side of midfield by the sideline, the third Whitecaps to earn a yellow card so far in the match. Fernandez would come off in the 70th minute for Nicolas Mezquida, while seattle would respond by taking off Kenny Cooper and putting on Michael Azira, and in the 78th minute both teams would make substitutions, with Seattle bringing on Cam Weaver for Chad Barrett, and Vancouver bringing on Russell Teibert for Kekuta Manneh.
In the 80th minute the Sounders advantage of calls came to a head with Jay DeMerit being called for bundling over a Seattle layer in the box. Gonzalo Pineda would cheekily chip over David Ousted to tie the match 2-2. Seattle would almost take the lead a minute later through Obafemi Martins, who would beat David Ousted but hit the far post with his shot, keeping the match tied at 2-2.
The 4th official would grant 6 minutes of extra time with both the fans and the press wondering where that time came from. Marco Pappa would get a yellow ard in stoppage time for a foul in midfield, the first Sounder to go into the book.
Gershon Koffie would almost get his second, getting a shot on goal that Stefan Frei would just tip over the bar. Morales would get the last chance on goal, a shot that Stefan Frei would stop before Brad Evans would blast out of play. The referee would blow the final whistle before the Whitecaps would get a chance to take the corner, the match ending 2-2.
Gershon Koffie would earn man of the match honours with a dominating performance in midfield, and the Whitecaps get set for another Cascadia Cup match next week against the Portland Timbers next Sunday in Portland at 6pm.