Saturday, April 16, 2011

Alvaro Fernandez's 91st minute goal salvages a point at Philadelphia

By Money Mike

When it looked as though the Philadelphia Union were gonna pull off another 1-0 victory, Alvaro Fernandez's equalizing goal a minute into stoppage time saved a point for the Seattle Sounders as the match ended all square at 1-1. With the draw, Seattle now has 6 points (1-2-3) and Philadelphia remains on top of the Eastern Conference table with 10 points (3-1-1). The Sounders now head to Colorado to face the defending MLS Cup Champion Rapids on Friday, then it's back home for a match Toronto before hitting the road again for matches at D.C. United and the Columbus Crew then after that the next three matches are at home, starting with the Portland Timbers.

The weather over there was really crappy, the conditions were poor, the ball movement was poor, I mean, the Sounders just looked miserable out there.

The man officiating this match by the way was Terry Vaughn, and you can tell that he was the referee, after a foul that led to a Philadelphia goal. Kyle Nakazawa's touch was a little too heavy and instead of going for goal, he just leans into Osvaldo Alonso and his arms were up in the air before Alonso even made contact with him, so it should've been a dive, instead Terry Vaughn signaled free kick in a dangerous position and showed a yellow card to Ozzie Alonso. That led to this.........

Carlos Ruiz with a free kick from 25-yards out, a bender over the wall toward the far post, Kasey Keller got a touch, but he couldn't keep the ball from sneaking inside the far past for the goal to put the Union up 1-0. It was Ruiz's 2nd goal of the season.

In the 51st minute, a mistimed header by Jeff Parke nearly led to a second goal, Ruiz with a good touch out of the air sent Sebastien Le Toux away but he didn't strike it hard enough and it was easily saved by Keller. A couple minutes later, Ruiz set up young Amobi Okugo for an open look from outside the area but again, no trouble for Kasey Keller.

In the 66th minute, Sigi Schmid went to his bench and brought on Nate Jaqua and Fredy Montero to boost the attack late on for Seattle. It was Montero's first game back since recovering from wrist surgery a couple weeks ago.

In minute 78', Alvaro Fernandez nearly made an immediate impact. Fredy Montero drove the ball across, hoping for a deflection of some kind, goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon got a hand to it, and the ball fell directly to Fernandez who struck it hard. It was goal bound, but Danny Califf got in the way of that shot and seemed to have saved a win for the Union. But Fernandez wasn't going to be denied a second chance.....

In the first minute of stoppage time, a corner by Mauro Rosales found Nate Jaqua who nodded it to Fredy Montero at the far post, after exchanging passes with Steve Zakuani, Montero chiped the ball to the middle of the area. There were three Sounder players unmarked and in the end, it was Alvaro Fernandez with the header, off the post and into the back of the goal to tie the match up at 1-1 and that's how it ended.

Scoring summary:

Philadelphia Union - Carlos Ruiz (unassisted) 32'

Seattle Sounders FC - Alvaro Fernandez (Fredy Montero) 91'+

Misconduct summary:

Seattle Sounders FC - Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless tackle) 30'

Philadelphia Union - Stefani Miglioranzi (caution; Reckless tackle) 55'

Philadelphia Union - Amobi Okugo (caution; Reckless tackle) 65'

Philadelphia Union - Carlos Valdes (caution; Reckless tackle) 88'

Starting lineups:

Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller; James Riley, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Jeff Parke, Leonardo Gonzalez (Fredy Montero 66'); Erik Friberg (Alvaro Fernandez 77'), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans, Mauro Rosales; O'Brian White (Nate Jaqua 66'), Steve Zakuani

Philadelphia Union - Faryd Mondragon; Sheanon Williams, Danny Califf, Carlos Valdes, Jordan Harvey; Keon Daniel, Stefani Miglioranzi (Danny Mwanga 59'), Amobi Okugo, Kyle Nakazawa; Sebastien Le Toux, Carlos Ruiz (Justin Mapp 80')

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