VANCOUVER, B.C. - Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders served up another entertaining Cascadia Cup clash at BC Place on Saturday evening.
The fast paced affair was settled by a single first half goal, a 30-yard screamer from Vancouver's Sebastian Fernandez for an early 1-0 lead that would turn into a well-earned 1-0 win.
But it was to be a long range effort that opened the scoring in the 12th minute. Fernandez collected a pass inside from Pedro Morales, took a touch then unleashed a blast that tailed past Stefan Frei and into the back of the net.
The Whitecaps enjoyed the best of the possession and chances for the rest of the half, with Frei being forced to save twice from Manneh.
Vancouver kept up the tempo as the second half got underway but Seattle eventually came into the game, with Lamar Neagle nearly pulling them level in the 52nd minute with a low drive that went inches past the right post.
Hurtado wasted a gilt edged chance to put the 'Caps two up in the 67th minute when Vancouver quickly countered and Morales played him through. The striker left two Seattle defenders in his wake and with just Frei to beat scuffed his shot on the edge of the box and the Sounders breathed a sigh of relief.
That was as close as either team would come until stoppage, when Marco Pappa fired a long range curler narrowly over.
The win sees Vancouver (6-3-7) close the gap on their Cascadian rivals to 10 points. They move to 25 points and remain 5th in the Western Conference, with at least one game in hand on all the teams above them. Seattle's lead at the top of the West remains at seven as they move to 11-4-2.
Vancouver will stay at home next weekend to face Chivas USA next Saturday. Seattle now have another Cascadia Cup clash looming when Portland Timbers will head to a packed Century Link Field next Sunday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Pedro Morales||Continues to be everything you want from a DP playmaker. Good work on the assist, and should have had another on his exquisite through-ball to Hurtado|
|2||Matias Laba||Want to know why Seattle could get nothing going through the central midfield? Laba's reading of the game is superior; he solves problems before they exist.|
|3||Marco Pappa||Was the only one out there who could provide any kind of danger for Seattle. Switches the field like a master, and is always dangerous from distance.|