TACOMA — This was a wild one folks, exciting at first and than veering into out of control chaos in the second half. Seattle Sounders 2 got of to a great start, with both Alex Roldan and Lamar Neagle scoring from outside the box to give S2 an early 2 goal lead. LA Galaxy II answered late in the first half with a good free kick from Emmanuel Appiah to cut S2’s lead to one at the half. Then came a second half that saw both sides unable to bring themselves under control. It looked like S2 would carry the day on their first half effort but late in the second Frank Lopez brought a ball down with his hand in the box, and with no whistle coming, finished well to turn a 2-1 S2 win into a perhaps unjust 2-2 draw. In detail, here is how the chaos unfolded.
Both sides struggled to hold unto the ball early, with the majority of possession coming in the middle third in the first 5 minutes. The first moment of danger came in the S2 box after Bryan Meredith put Tony Alfaro in a tough position with two Los Dos players on his back. Alfaro was able to win a foul though and the moment passed. S2 quickly countered with a chance of their own but Henry Wingo sent his one-timed shot wide and high from 10 yards out.
S2 were the first to solve the other side’s press and began to take control of the game around the 8’, though Los Dos still looked dangerous on the counter. In the 12’ S2 got their first great look at goal as Jordy Delem broke in behind the Los Dos backline. It looked as if he would have a free shot at goal but Andre Ulrich Zanga made a good covering run from the opposite side of the field to put Delem off the shot which he sent well wide.
Around the 20’ Los Dos started to put S2 under considerable pressure for the first time, with a lengthy spell of possession in the final third. They came close to the opening goal twice, once on a cross and once on a corner, and though S2 didn’t defend either well originally, they just about escaped danger with some last ditch tackles on free balls in the box.
In the 25’ Handwalla Bwana broke out some of his patented vertical dribbling to drive deep into Los Dos territory to earn S2 a dangerous free kick, and Los Dos a yellow, on the precipice of the box. He then sent in a great free kick that went just inches wide of goal. Just moments later S2 should have had the opener when Ibrahim Usman made a great interception in the attacking half and sent in a pinpoint cross to Lamar Neagle who had a free shot at goal from the top of the six, but the First Team player missed the ball completely and it went harmlessly out the other side of the box.
S2 kept piling on the pressure though, and in the 32’ were rewarded with the game’s first goal. After some near misses in the box a clearance found its way to Roldan 30 yards from goal. The midfielder spotted that Eric Lopez was out of position and off his line and sent in a curling effort that easily beat the keeper to make it 1-0.
S2 quickly added a second in the 35’ as Neagle made up for his earlier whiff with a curler of his own from outside the box. E. Lopez got a piece of it but couldn’t keep it out as Neagle turned back the clock and nestled it into the upper 90.
Than the game really got going as Los Dos halved the S2 lead in 40’. After a somewhat dubious foul called on Khai Brisco at the top of the S2 box, Emmanuel Appiah took advantage and hit an excellent dipping free kick that beat the wall and than easily beat Meredith at the near post to make it 2-1.
As the half closed the game reached a fever pitch of action, but neither side capitalized on a flurry of chances as they went into half S2 2-1 Los Dos.
Los Dos came out of the half clearly looking to equalize early and they almost did in the 47’ but luckily for S2 they hit the post. Not to be outdone, S2 went right down the other side of the field only to have their own chance cleared off the line. The wild start to the second half shouldn’t have been a surprise though; S2 and Los Dos routinely play hectic second halves when they meet.
After the opening flurry things slowed down a bit, but only because both sides were a bit too out of control for their own good. The sides countered back and forth for 10 minutes but neither could keep their cool in the final third so the game remained 2-1 into the 60’.
Finally in the 65’ S2 got a decent look at goal — breaking a nearly 20 minute streak of nothing from either side — as David Olsen sent in a decent effort from 20 yards out, but E. Lopez was equal to the task and S2’s lead remained at just one.
With that brief moment of skill gone, the game again descended into what can only be called chaos. Both sides relying too much on frenzied effort and lacking skill or anything resembling patience with the ball.
The game only got wilder from there, as Los Dos equalized in the 81’ minute after F. Lopez brought down a cross in the box with his arm. None of the referees saw the infraction though and F. Lopez calmly slotted the ball he brought down with his arm past Meredith to bring the match square at 2.
Unfortunately S2 were unable to put together a cohesive attack after the equalizer and 3 points turned to 1 because of a missed call.