BY SPNW Staff 08:39PM 09/29/2012

Sounders, Whitecaps Play To Tepid, 0-0 Draw

The Seattle Sounders played to a 0-0 draw with the Whitecaps Saturday night at B.C. Place in Vancouver, B.C., but still clinched their fourth consecutive appearance in the MLS playoffs by collecting one point. Both sides had a chance to win in the final, frantic moments of a match almost entirely devoid of drama.

Seattle’s Fredy Montero sliced a shot just wide of the goal in extra time, and Vancouver’s Camilo missed a point-blank try moments later, just seconds before the match ended.

With the draw, the Sounders improved to 13-7-10 for 49 points. Although the Sounders have never lost to Vancouver (2-0-3), the Whitecaps hadn’t recorded a shutout since July. The Whitecaps also entered the match having gone 0-5-1 in their last six matches.

With the draw, the Sounders have played 62 consecutive MLS matches without suffering consecutive defeats (they lost to San Jose 2-1 in their previous match), an on-going league record.

The Sounders also improved to 1-1-3 for six points in Cascadia Cup play. Leader Portland is 2-0-2 for eight points.

The Sounders did not have many scoring opportunities in the second half, but Jeff Parke, who drew his third yellow card of the season in the 55th minute, nearly scored off a corner kick in the 79th minute.

Vancouver’s Kenny Miller had a good opportunity in the 87th minute, but his shot sailed wide. Steve Zakuani, who came on in the second half for Mauro Rosales, nearly scored for Seattle in the 88th minute, but had his shot deflected away.

The Sounders dominated the run of play in the first half, holding possession 56.6 percent of the time. But they were fortunate to have the team intact as the sides headed to their locker rooms.

Montero went down in the third minute when Vancouver’s Jay Demerit whacked him with an elbow across the face, bloodying Montero’s lip. After a pause, Montero remained in the game. Two minutes later, Parke went down in a heap when he was tripped.

The Sounders had a great chance in the 15th minute, but Brad Evans couldn’t get to a ball in the box from Rosales and it went for a goal kick. The Sounders took six shots in the first 45 minutes, including one on goal, to four for Vancouver, none on goal.

For the match, the Sounders took 13 shots to Vancouver’s 16, and had four shots on goal to the Whitecaps’ three. Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning recorded three saves, one of them on a spectacular deflection.

The Sounders are idle until Saturday when they host the Portland Timbers in the final Cascadia Cup match of the season. The Sounders have three consecutive home matches remaining after meeting Portland — Real Salt Lake (Oct. 17), FC Dallas (Oct. 21) and CD Marathon (Oct. 24, Champions League play) before closing out the regular season at L.A. Galaxy Oct. 28.


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