VANCOUVER, B.C. – The Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders served up another Cascadia Cup cracker, drawing 2-2 in front of a fifth consecutive sold-out crowd at BC Place on Saturday.
Gershon Koffie then gave Vancouver the lead when he looped home from 35 yards into an empty net after a mistake by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. But there was still time for Gonzalo Pineda to give Seattle a share of the points when he hit home from the penalty spot with eight minutes remaining after a contentious call on Jay DeMerit.
The draw keeps Seattle on top of the Western Conference standings for now, and they move to 26 points and a 8-3-2 record. Vancouver (4-2-5) remain nine points behind the leaders but with two games in hand.
Vancouver took the game to Seattle early, launching a number of attacks in the opening minutes.
Koffie was particularly active for the Whitecaps, crashing a shot off the Seattle crossbar eight minutes in.
The game settled down a bit and it was Seattle who opened the scoring in the 36th minute when Barrett got on the end of Kenny Cooper cross, easily outjumping Nigel Reo-Coker to power a header home from 12 yards out.
Vancouver hit back three minutes later when Hurtado weaved his way into the box, leaving two Seattle defenders on the deck before firing high into the roof of the net to tie things up and set up a breathless second half.
The Whitecaps took the lead in the 66th minute when Frei tried to prevent a corner but instead cleared the ball upfield straight to Koffie, who chested it down before lobbing the ball home from 35 yards into the empty net.
Pineda tied things up for Seattle from the spot with eight minutes remaining and Obafemi Martins almost won it for the visitors moments later, but crashed his shot off the right post.
Both sides now move on to another set of much-anticipated matches next weekend. Vancouver continue their quest to retain the Cascadia Cup with a trip to Portland on Sunday, while Seattle head home for a top-of-the-table clash with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Gershon Koffie||Simply a force of nature in the center of the park, powering from box to box to win possession and create chances. Smart finish, too.|
|2||Obafemi Martins||His name doesn't show up on the scoresheet but his effect on the 'Caps defense was unmistakeable. Went inches away from a smashing late winner.|
His confidence is growing by leaps and bounds, as shown by that imperous run and finish in the first half.