SEATTLE — Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson scored second-half goals as the Seattle Sounders defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-0 on Saturday in front of a crowd of 55,718. The Sounders moved into third place in the Western Conference, three points ahead of the Whitecaps.
Montero’s goal was his eighth of the season and his fifth as a substitute in 2012. He entered the game in the 61st minute and had an almost immediate impact, scoring the opener just three minutes later. The sequence started with a Mauro Rosales free kick from 35 yards out that Jeff Parke chested down. Montero collected the lay off near the far post and managed to slot the ball between a pair of defenders for his fourth goal in four career games against the Whitecaps.
WATCH: Full match highlights
Johnson then put the game away with a goal in the 87th minute, tapping a perfectly placed pass from Brad Evans inside the the far post. Osvaldo Alonso picked up an assist on the play after his precise ball over the top started the move. Johnson had missed a wide-open shot from almost the exact same spot in the 53rd minute.
Despite both teams going into halftime scoreless, neither side was left wanting for chances in the first 45 minutes.
The Whitecaps repeatedly used their speed to get behind the Sounders backline. Darren Mattocks was the primary culprit and got it started early when he created chance in the opening minute by chasing down a ball on the left sideline and sending in a dangerous cross that had to be cleared away by Alonso in front of goal.
Mattocks got an even better chance in the 22nd minute. This time, Kenny Miller forced a turnover by Alex Caskey and fed Mattocks with a pass that set up a shot from 10 yards that rolled just wide.
The Sounders’ chances were perhaps even better. Whitecaps goalkeeper Joe Cannon was forced to make a pair of saves, once parrying a Johnson shot from about 25 yards over the crossbar with a leaping save.
Cannon’s other first-half save came on a Evans shot from well inside the 18-yard box, an opportunity created when Leo Gonzalez broke in from the left side and sent in a ball that found Rosales, who touched it off to the right. Fortunately for Cannon, Evans’ first touch allowed him to get into position to make the save at the near post.
The Whitecaps came close to tying the game in the 81st minute, but Mattocks’ apparent goal was waved off after he was whistled for a foul on Parke in the box.
The Sounders are now 4-1-3 in their past eight league games, while the Whitecaps have a 2-5-2 record over their last nine. Seattle next travel to Chivas USA on Aug. 25, while Vancouver head to Portland that same evening.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Osvaldo Alonso||Clean and cutting in midfield with the usual bite to boot. Set up second goal and nearly had his own multiple times.|
|2||Eddie Johnson||Once again a threat all night, although it wasn't all good. He missed a sitter before putting game away late.|
|3||Darren Mattocks||The young speedster was Vancouver's primary outlet and got behind the Seattle D but just couldn't finish.|