The first leg of any two-tie game always goes one way or the other. Either fans experience a deluge of goals or, as in the case tonight between Vancouver Whitecaps FC and Seattle Sounders FC, a tense and frustrating game that ends in a tie. The first game in the Western Conference of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs ended in a 0-0 draw that saw both Cascadia teams unable to pressure the respective defenses and take a lead into the second leg.
The first half brings the most goal-mouth action
With not much happening in front of either goalkeeper throughout the 90 plus minutes of this game, the best chances for either side came in the first half. Christian Bolaños sent in a cross into the area in the 30th minute that found it's way to Brek Shea at the far post. His one-time effort evaded Stefan Frei but found the foot of Román Torres who cleared the ball away off the line and stopped Vancouver from taking the lead. Seattle then had an opportunity to go in front in the 36th minute when Kendall Waston almost diverted a Joevin Jones cross into his own net but was fortunate to see it come off the crossbar and away from the arriving Sounders forwards.
Chad Marshall then had the last great chance in front of goal for either team when he rose highest to meet Kelvin Leerdam's cross in the 48th minute but goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic was equal to the task and managed to not only get to the ball with his dive but hang on to it as well.
The second leg will be a winner takes all battle
Both teams will meet again on Thursday night in Seattle and whoever wins that game will move on to the next round. Vancouver will be feeling the more confident side as they know that the more away goals they score, the better their chances of advancing even if Seattle end up winning that game.
For Seattle, their famed home crowd will be what they hope will give the extra push to not only keep a clean sheet but score the necessary goals that will have them extending their Major League Soccer season for another week at least.