VANCOUVER — A video replay decision in extra time cost the Vancouver Whitecaps a chance to win their first match of the MLS season, resulting in a 0-0 draw with the Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
The wild sequence began when Vancouver’s Joaquin Ardaiz took a shot that was stopped by Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei. The ball rolled to the Whitecaps’ Hwang In-Beom, whose shot was blocked again by a diving Frei. After the play, In-Beom had his legs taken out from underneath him by a sliding tackle by Seattle’s Kim Kee-hee.
At first referee Robert Sibiga ruled a yellow card against Kee-hee, which would have set up a penalty kick. The call was reversed after a video replay review, though, bringing boos from the crowd of 24,803 at BC Place Stadium.
Both teams take a point in the first Cascadia game of 2019.
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) March 31, 2019
For most of the match, the Whitecaps (0-3-1) played a disciplined, defensive game. That forced the unbeaten Sounders (3-0-1) to move the ball around the outside in hopes of breaking the Vancouver shape.
The Whitecaps came close in the 76th minute. Winger Lucas Venuto sent a ball into the box that forward Victor Giro flicked with his left foot, forcing Frei to make a save.
Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau had to look sharp in the 64th minute when Seattle’s Gustav Svensson blasted a shot from well outside the box. Crepeau steered it clear with a two-hand save.
The Whitecaps got a big defensive play from Erik Godoy early in the second half. Kee-hee headed a ball to the open corner of the net but Godoy was able to clear the ball off the line.
The Sounders controlled much of the play during the scoreless first half, but it was the Whitecaps who managed two good scoring chances.
In the 39th minute, forward Lass Bangoura squirmed free just outside the box and blasted a right-footed shot that forced Frei to make a diving save.
Left back Ali Adnan, who was acquired March 9 on loan from Italian Serie A club Udinese Calcio, made a couple of nice plays. In the 32nd minute, he dribbled around Seattle defenders. A few minutes later, he took a pass from Fredy Montero and sent a shot into the box off a set play.
NOTES: The game made MLS history with two Koreans — Vancouver’s In-Beom and Seattle’s Kee-hee — playing against each other for the first time. …It was the 136th meeting across all competitions between Vancouver and Seattle, the most of any soccer rivalry in the U.S. and Canada. … Adnan is the first Iraqi-born player in MLS. … Vancouver had an eight-game winless streak and lost four consecutive games in 2016. … Both teams were coming off a two-week break.
Jim Morris, The Canadian Press