The Seattle Sounders got a winner from an unlikely hero in the form of defender Jeff Parke.
The Seattle Sounders used a stoppage time goal by Jeff Parke to defeat Sporting Kansas City 1-0 this Saturday at Qwest Field in front of 36,098 fans. Sporting was on the road for the eighth consecutive game as it awaits the opening of the new Livestrong Park. Kansas City came into the match after a frustrating 4-1 loss at the hands of the L.A .Galaxy. The Sounders entered the match with several questions looming including whether or not the team would have a let down after playing to a 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers last Saturday evening in the first leg of the Cascadia Cup.
The first half offered a fair amount of action however it did not offer any goals. Play was mostly wide open with both sides struggling to unlock the other defense.
Sporting was the first side with a chance on goal. In the fifth minute Seattle goalkeeper Kasey Keller made a right handed save on a Ryan Smith shot. The shot was blocked and deflected to forward Teal Bunbury. Bunbury’s follow up shot was easily saved by Keller and cleared.
The next several minutes saw both sides pushing the ball up the length of the field. In the 11th minute Tyson Wahl took a free kick from long range. His left footed shot was played nicely in to the box however Mauro Rosales’ header was wide right and proved to be harmless.
Play continued to be open as both sides worked to move the ball into the other side's half. The 18th minute saw a Kansas City free kick played into the box nicely, but Kei Kamara’s header was played directly at Keller who cleared the ball.
Seattle had a good scoring chance In the 20th minute when midfielder Alvaro Fernandez flicked the ball into the 6 yard box where he found a charging Rosales. Rosales’ header was played over the cross bar. More opportunities for the Sounders in the 27th minute when midfielder Servando Carrasco’s shot played too far and over the cross bar.
A Rosales cross in he 34th minute from the right side was knocked out for a Seattle corner. The subsequent corner was blown dead after a foul was called on Seattle. In the 35th minute Rosales again with an assist on a shot as he lays the ball off for a surging Osvaldo Alonso who takes a long range shot that narrowly goes over the crossbar.
The match went to the break scoreless.
The second half began with a sense of urgency and Seattle came out attacking early. The second half was also noticeably more physical than the first half. Both defensives played very well and limited the chances that either side would generate.
In the 49th minute a yellow card was given to midfielder Ryan Smith after he kicked a dead ball away in frustration. Less than a minute later a yellow card was given to Carrasco for a tactical foul on Roger Espinoza.
The 52nd minute brought a scary situation as Keller and Aurelien Collin collided in the box on a free kick. Keller appeared to be shaken up. However he was able to return to his feet and play resumed.
One of the few scoring opportunities of the second half came in the 57th minute when Jaqua nearly got a goal as he was able to get a head on to a free kick taken by Wahl.
Fast forward to the 83rd minute when the best goal scoring chance of the second half came in the form of Seattle forward Mike Fucito receiving a well played ball from Jaqua inside the 18-yard box and nearly threading a shot past Nielsen. Roger Espinoza made a potentially goal saving tackle and blocked Fucito’s chance.
A scary situation came for Seattle in the 86th minute when Jhon Kennedy Hurtado nearly scored an own goal when his misplayed header just went wide of his own goal.
Stoppage time saw Seattle with a frantic push towards KC’s goal. In the third minute of stoppage time Jeff Parke’s header off of a Tyson Wahl corner kick caught Nielsen off guard and his shot found the back of the net for the game winner. For the second year in a row the Sounders scored a stoppage time goal to defeat Kansas City at Qwest Field.
Seattle can go home pleased this evening after narrowly escaping with 3 points from a Sporting Kansas City side which deserved to get at least a draw. KC will leave Seattle frustrated with the result and will certainly be looking forward to playing its first home game.
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