In what was an all-Canadian clash in the Major League Soccer, Seattle Sounders picked up a key 1-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps to keep bid for top-spot going thanks to a late Kevin Leerdam strike.
The Sounders had failed to win a single game in their previous five outings before this clash at the CenturyLink Field and the last time they had managed to win a game was back on the 16th of May against Orlando City at home.
The away side- the Whitecaps, came into the game having not lost a single outing in their previous six games. While they had won just one of those games, they had drawn five of them, holding New York Redbulls to a 2-2 draw last month.
Both sides came into the game heavily reduced due to international commitments for some of their key players. Sounders missed Raúl Ruidíaz and the midfield pairing of Nicolas Lodeiro and Cristian Roldan, who are playing in the ongoing Copa America in Brazil.
Vancouver missed five of their first-team players with four of them Canadian national team players and the one other being striker Lass Bangoura.
The game started slowly as the two sides tried to measure each other up. But it was Seattle who got the first chance of the game and it was a golden one too. Justin Dhillon failed to tap into an open goal from just five yards out.
In the 23rd minute, Dhillon had another chance to hand his side the lead. But his header from close range was saved by Whitecaps stopped Zach Macmath.
In the 64th minute, controversy ensued. Dhillon found himself one-on-one in front of MacMath and ended up stepping on the Whitecaps’ goalkeeper’s foot. The loose ball fell to 16-year-old Danny Lavya and he did put the ball into the back of the net. But the goal was chopped off after the VAR took a long and hard look at it to make a decision.
Towards the end, Sounders got a grip on the game and began dominating. They kept piling on the pressure in stoppage time and the pressure paid off when Leerdam drove the ball into the back of the net in the 96th minute.
This was the Dutch right-back’s fifth goal in 2019 and it was a very good way to increase his tally too. After having scored only once in the first 31 games for the club, Leerdam now has five in the last 16 and is now the leading goalscorer for the club behind striker Ruidiaz.
The clash saw Seattle take forward their unbeaten run against their rivals to as many as six games and the last time Vancouver beat them was in April 2017 in a 2-1 victory.
Seattle now face a stiff contest in their next clash on Thursday when they come up against a tough side in NYCFC, who are currently sixth in the Eastern conference currently.
Vancouver will have a stiff task at hand themselves in their next game when they will lock horns with LAFC, the league leaders in the Western conference.