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Seattle Sounders 1, Vancouver Whitecaps 2 | 2016 MLS Match Recap

The Vancouver Whitecaps edged the Seattle Sounders, 2-1, at CenturyLink Field on Saturday night as two contentious penalty-kick decisions led to a Pedro Morales brace from the spot.

Christian Bolanos tumbled in the box to help earn the Whitecaps a first-half lead, only for Andreas Ivanschitz to lash home a brilliant free kick to draw Seattle level after halftime.

But the visitors snatched all three points, as referee Mark Geiger judged Chad Marshall to have fouled the lively Blas Perez on a slide tackle just inside the box with some 16 minutes left in regulation time. Clint Dempsey had a glorious chance to net an equalizer in the 80th minute, but fired his low drive wide right of the target from 12 yards out.

With a crowd of 40,012 in attendance, including a sizeable band of traveling Whitecaps fans, it was a dramatic way to open the 2016 Cascadia Cup. And with both sides entering this game winless after two weeks, the final result brought relief to the Canadian side, while deepening the gloom for the 0-3 Rave Green.

Three Things

  1. 'CAPS TWEAK TACTICS: After an 0-2 start marked by some costly gaffes, Vancouver coach Carl Robinson made some adjustments, and they paid off. Most notably, Perez came into the starting 11 up top alongside Octavio Rivero in a 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1 to some) and brought good hold-up play and veteran cunning, the latter of which was epitomized by the Panamanian's cleverness on the decisive PK call.
  2. OZZIE ROCKS ON: Several of his teammates are not carrying their weight, but Osvaldo Alonso continues to be masterful in every department. SSFC's midfield linchpin has always been a superior ballwinner and he's grown cultured and composed in possession, too. It's all the more amazing to consider that he was reportedly on the trading block in the offseason.
  3. PANIC ON PUGET SOUND? – Seattle were superior in nearly every statistical category, yet the goals just aren't coming. By tonight's final whistle, the frustration was palpable on the field and in the stands. Now Sounders Nation must stew over these struggles for two weeks, thanks to the international break. Will Sigi Schmid make deeper changes?

Box Score

They Said It

Next Up

  • SEA: Sat., Apr. 2 vs. Montreal Impact (10 pm ET, MLS LIVE)
  • VAN: Sat., Mar. 26 vs. Houston Dynamo (10 pm ET, TSN, MLS LIVE)
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