The second leg of the Cascadia Cup took place last night in the warm confines of Qwest Field between the Vancouver Whitecaps and the home Seattle Sounders FC—the first leg saw the Portland Timbers and Sounders draw a 1-1 tie there last month.
The two teams have had very different experiences so far. Seattle, despite some major injuries, has been improving and is in the top third of the Western Conference. Vancouver came into Seattle on a 13-game winless streak.
It’s a luck thing for Whitecaps fans that the Canucks are in the Stanley Cup Finals since the soccer hasn’t been very good.
The traveling fans were treated to a rare lead when Vancouver forward Eric Hassli converted a penalty kick given for Seattle midfielder Osvaldo Alonso tripped Whitecaps midfielder Camilo in the box. It was only the 4th time all year Vancouver has had a lead in a match.
Despite the best efforts of the Sounders, the score remained 1-0 until the 81st minute when Sounders defender Tyson Wahl put a cross into the box for Nate Jaqua. Jaqua and Vancouver defender Mouloud Akloul battled for the header and the ball continued on to the far post where Seattle’s midfielder Mauro Rosales was waiting. Rosales put the ball in the net for his first Sounders goal and a tied score.
The stadium had been tense and quiet but at that moment it exploded as Sounders fans erupted in relief. The volume was cranked up to a higher level three minutes later when Alonso intercepted a pass in the Vancouver half and calmly scored his first goal of the season with his left foot.
The flags were still waving a minute later when Hassli returned the favor, shocking the fans by stealing a pass between Jhon Kennedy Hurtado and Alonso and scoring what has to be a goal for the ages to re-tie the score at 2-2. There are not words to describe the goal. Watch it for yourself and see if it doesn’t amaze you too.
This ended the scoring for the night and put Seattle’s Cascadia Cup record with two draws in two matches. It also left Vancouver with a 14-game winless streak and hopes that the Canucks can close out the Stanley Cup tomorrow night.
Man of the Match:
With so many heroes and one goat, Osvaldo Alonso, I am giving my Man of the Match to Whitecaps forward Eric Hassli. It’s rare to see a goal of such amazing quality and I have to doff my cap to it. I call Alonso a goat as he had a bad night, apart from his goal, and his poor play led directly to both Vancouver goals.
The tie takes Seattle’s record to 5-4-7 and 22 points. The Sounders travel to Toronto to take on Toronto FC next Saturday.
Photo credit: DEAN RUTZ/THE SEATTLE TIMES