VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Cascadia curse is over for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Goals from Kenny Miller and Darren Mattocks in the early and late going propelled the 'Caps to a 2-0 win over the Seattle Sounders at BC Place on Saturday night in front of a season's-best crowd of 22,500.
The result gave Vancouver their first-ever win over a Cascadia opponent in 13 tries in MLS play, avenged a last-minute defeat in Seattle last month and put further space between the Pacific Northwest rivals in the Western Conference table.
It didn’t take long for the Whitecaps to get started, either. Just four minutes in, Miller received a long ball over the top from Corey Hertzog before beating Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and cutting back on his right foot and placing the ball in the bottom-right corner of Michael Gspurning’s goal.
The hosts rode some timely defending and spectacular goalkeeping from Brad Knighton to keep the score line at 1-0 until bagging an insurance tally 11 minutes from full time. Substitute Mattocks clinched the result in the 79th minute, latching onto a Gershon Koffie flicked header to break through on goal and finish with a left-footed effort.
The Sounders had their chances, but couldn't find their finishing touch. In the 22nd minute, Eddie Johnson pushed into the area past Jordan Harvey, but Knighton managed to stop his tight-angle effort, pushing out for a corner. From that set piece, Zach Scott nearly bundled home, but once again Knighton managed to grab hold of the spinning deflected effort for another of his seven saves on the night.
Four minutes later, Shalrie Joseph sent Johnson through on goal, but Knighton came out well to make the save before stopping a rebound effort from Obafemi Martins.
Joseph was once again involved in the 41st minute, crossing the ball to Lamar Neagle, who made a streaking in from the left, but Knighton intervened before a defender cleared the loose ball.
The Sounders came close through Neagle in the 56th minute, as the winger attempted a cross that Brad Rusin attempted to clear but ended up putting off the post to the right of Knighton before going wide of target.
With the win, the Whitecaps improve to 8-5-5 and extend their unbeaten streak to five consecutive matches. They next host Chicago on July 14.
Seattle, meanwhile, drop to 7-6-3. They next head to San Jose on July 13.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Brad Knighton (VAN)||Unreal night from 'Caps netminder, whose seven monstrous saves included thrilling double-stop of both Sounders strike heavyweights in the 27th minute.|
|2||Kenny Miller (VAN)||Classy timing to stay onside, and ridiculous juke of Hurtado gave Scottish DP the moment to pot the winner.|
|3||Shalrie Joseph (SEA)||Made some atrocious giveaways, but also was the only Sounder supplying scoring chances to his attackers.|