Match report - Seattle Sounders FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps FC
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Whitecaps FC fall to defeat at Cascadia Cup rivals Seattle Sounders FC

Highlights: Seattle 2-0 Vancouver

SEATTLE, WA - Playing their third match in this year’s Cascadia Cup, Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10W-9L-7D) suffered a 2-0 away defeat to Pacific Northwest rivals Seattle Sounders FC (11W-6L-7D) in Major League Soccer on Saturday afternoon.

Second-half goals by substitute Fredy Montero and Eddie Johnson gave the home side the victory in front of 55,718 fans, which included over 1,500 supporters from Vancouver, at CenturyLink Field. Playing with an altered line-up from midweek, the ‘Caps looked solid early on before Seattle took control of proceedings during this 115th all-time competitive meeting between these Interstate 5 adversaries.

Victory for Seattle takes them three points clear of Vancouver and into third place in the MLS Western Conference standings. It also takes Sounders FC level on four points with Portland Timbers at the top of the three-club Cascadia Cup standings.

“I think it was an exciting game. Obviously, not the outcome that we wanted, but overall, I felt like the performance through most of the game was pretty good,” said Whitecaps FC head coach Martin Rennie. “I think for us right now, we've got a little bit of adversity missing a couple of key players and players that have come in aren't really match fit yet. However, for me, there's a lot of positive things from today’s game.”

Rennie was forced into playing a very different line-up from Wednesday’s home loss to FC Dallas. Though the Scottish tactician had players back from international duty, the late news of Barry Robson’s suspension meant a total of four changes had to be made to his starting XI in The Emerald City.

Despite the changes, Whitecaps FC showed no effects of being overawed by the large crowd, as the visitors imposed themselves on their hosts by creating several chances in the first half.

Fresh back from his senior international debut with Jamaica in midweek, Darren Mattocks caused the Seattle backline problems. The youngster created two fine chances, with his best effort rolling across the face of the Sounders FC goal around the midway point of the opening half.

While Carlyle Mitchell and Andy O’Brien looked assured at the back for Vancouver, Gershon Koffie and Kenny Miller went close to opening up the Rave Green with chances before the break. Though they struggled in spells, Seattle created first-half chances that forced Whitecaps FC goalkeeper Joe Cannon to make saves on strikes from Johnson and midfielder Brad Evans. Then on 38 minutes, Alex Caskey was unable to find the target for the home side.

BLOG: The silver lining of a tough day in Seattle

While the Blue and White would have been pleased with their efforts to halftime, it was Seattle that made the right adjustments and look the stronger side after the break. Osvaldo Alonso had two chances for Sounders FC that Cannon and Mitchell had to block away, while an unmarked Johnson missed the target at close range on 53 minutes.

The turning point of this derby contest arrived after the hour mark when Seattle’s talented Colombian Montero entered the match for Caskey. On 64 minutes, his presence proved decisive, as the South American scored his eighth goal of the season, converting Jeff Parke’s knockdown of a Mauro Rosales’ free kick in the Vancouver box for 1-0.

It was a disappointing goal to concede for Whitecaps FC, and it forced the visitors to press forward in search of an equalizer. Alain Rochat just missed the target with a header from a Young-Pyo Lee cross on 67 minutes, while Mattocks found the back of the Seattle net on 81 minutes. However, the ‘Caps striker was adjudged to have fouled Parke before converting Dane Richards’ fine cross in front of the Sounders FC goal.

Having been in numerous positions to score on Saturday, Johnson eventually found the scoresheet with his club-leading 11th goal of the season on 87 minutes. Alonso found an unmarked Evans on the right flank with a forward ball. His low cross allowed a streaking Johnson to slot home at the far post and secure a two-goal victory for Seattle.

It was a disheartening way for Whitecaps FC to fall to defeat to their arch-rivals in The Emerald City, but they will have the next week to try and end a two-match losing streak when they visit another Cascadia Cup rival in Portland for a second time this season on Saturday night.

Match Details

Budweiser Man of the Match: Jun Marques Davidson
Referee: Silviu Petrescu
Attendance: 55,718

Scoring summary:
64' - SEA - Fredy Montero (Jeff Parke, Mauro Rosales)
87' - SEA - Eddie Johnson (Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso)

Match Stats:
Shots: Seattle 12 - Vancouver 5
Shots on Goal: Seattle 5 - Vancouver 0
Saves: Seattle 0 - Vancouver 3
Fouls: Seattle 16 - Vancouver 15
Offsides: Seattle 2 - Vancouver 3
Corners: Seattle 4 - Vancouver 6

58' - SEA - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado
90+1' - VAN - Gershon Koffie

Seattle Sounders FC
1.Michael Gspurning; 5.Adam Johansson (20.Zach Scott 79'), 31.Jeff Parke, 34.Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, 12.Leo Gonzalez; 6.Osvaldo Alonso, 3.Brad Evans; 10.Mauro Rosales (25.Andy Rose 88'), 13.Christian Tiffert, 27.Alex Caskey (17.Fredy Montero 61'); 7.Eddie Johnson

Substitutes not used: 29.Josh Ford, 4.Patrick Ianni, 11.Steve Zakuani, 26.Sammy Ochoa

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
1.Joe Cannon; 12.Young-Pyo Lee, 19.Carlyle Mitchell, 40.Andy O'Brien, 4.Alain Rochat; 28.Gershon Koffie, 27.Jun Marques Davidson (11.John Thorrington 90'); 20.Dane Richards, 7.Kenny Miller, 37.Camilo Sanvezzo (31.Russell Teibert 74'); 22.Darren Mattocks (9.Atiba Harris 90')

Substitutes not used: 18.Brad Knighton, 3.Jordan Harvey, 13.Michael Nanchoff, 16.Matt Watson