Two early goals accounted for all the scoring in the Decision Day derby between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Seattle Sounders on Sunday, as the sides finished in a 1-1 deadlock at BC Place.

Fredy Montero scored Seattle's lone goal of the match in the eighth minute, with Ryan Gauld notching a 20th-minute leveler for the 'Caps. With the result, the Whitecaps clinched a spot in the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs as the No. 6 seed, while the Sounders relinquish the No. 1 seed to the Colorado Rapids, finishing in the second spot ahead of Sporting Kansas City.

The Caps head to SKC and the Sounders host Real Salt Lake in Round One of the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.

The match got off to a lively start, as the sides traded goals in the first 20 minutes after kickoff.

Seattle opened the scoring in the eighth minute from the penalty spot after Vancouver's Cristian Dajome was whistled for a handball in his own area while trying to defend a flicked header from Cristian Roldan. That allowed Montero to stride to the spot, where the former Whitecap coolly converted past Maxime Crepeau.

The 1-0 scoreline wouldn't hold for long though, as Gauld leveled for Vancouver just 12 minutes later. The dynamic Scotsman pounced for an opportunistic finish after Seattle couldn't clear a cross into the area, nodding home a perfectly placed header at the far post past Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.

Those stood as the game's only goals, as neither side managed a winner in the second half. The Whitecaps had perhaps the best look for either side off a free header for Brian White that the red-hot striker couldn't quite put on target. Seattle made a couple of attack-minded substitutions in the second half, bringing on Jordan Morris to start it off and Leo Chu near the end, but never found an elusive winner.

Goals

  • 8' – SEA – Fredy Montero (PK) | WATCH
  • 20' – VAN – Ryan Gauld | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: The result caps a remarkable second half of the season for Vancouver, who have been one of the league's hotter teams down the stretch. Interim head coach Vanni Sartini has his team bought in, with the Whitecaps' matchup with Sporting Kansas City instantly becoming one of the most compelling of the Round One slate. Seattle, meanwhile, are limping a bit going into the playoffs, missing an opportunity to clinch the top seed with a victory. For Seattle, the biggest objective at the moment is simply getting healthy, as they played this match without all three Designated Players in Nicolas Lodeiro, Raul Ruidiaz and Joao Paulo.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Montero's PK had Seattle in the driver's seat early, until this header from Gauld turned out to be the result-deciding goal.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: We'll give it to Gauld for that aforementioned equalizer as part of another energetic shift. The 25-year-old has emerged as a truly dynamic threat in attack for the Whitecaps, looking every bit like the future building block Vancouver hoped they were getting when they brought him in midseason.

Next Up

  • VAN: at Sporting Kansas City, Western Conference Round One, Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs
  • SEA: vs. Real Salt Lake, Western Conference Round One, Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs