Photo courtesy Charis Wilson / Sounders FC Communications
TUKWILA, Wash. – Darwin Jones scored deep in stoppage time to earn Seattle Sounders FC 2 a 2-1 victory against Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 on Friday night at Starfire Stadium. Jones struck from the left side of the penalty area with almost the final kick of the game off a pass by Mark O’Ojong to move S2 within a point of eighth place in the Western Conference standings. S2’s Irvin Parra forced a good save by WFC2 goalkeeper Spencer Richey in the 12th minute in the first good chance of the game, and Seattle had the better of the opening half overall as it pressed well in Vancouver’s half. WFC2 opened the second half more brightly, but Seattle’s defense held firm until Kyle Greig opened the scoring off a corner kick by Kianz Froese for his 11th goal of the season in the 64th minute. S2 hit back almost immediately from a corner of its own, however, as Parra notched his first goal for the club from Zach Mathers’ delivery. Jones then skimmed a shot over the crossbar with 12 minutes to go, which was closely followed by a great save by S2 goalkeeper Tyler Miller from WFC2’s Jordan Haynes. Mathers then shot high and wide from the right side of the penalty area as S2 pushed for a late game-winner, and Jones’ stoppage-time finish from the left side of the penalty area provided it, keeping S2’s playoff hopes alive.
64’ – VAN – Kyle Greig (Kianz Froese)
67’ – SEA – Irvin Parra (Zach Mathers)
90+’ – SEA – Darwin Jones (Mark O’Ojong)
Three Things That Matter:
1. As stoppage time ticked down, it looked as though Seattle’s playoff hopes were draining away. But, cometh the hour, cometh the man, and Darwin Jones’ stoppage-time winner might have just saved S2’s chances of a second consecutive playoff berth. After Jordan Schweitzer’s 88th-minute winner against Portland on Monday night, more late dramatics put Seattle in position to make a last-ditch run at the postseason. The road isn’t easy with four consecutive road games to close, but S2 has a chance, and that’s all the side can ask for.
2. WFC2 will have been happy to see Kyle Greig get his first goal after an 11-game scoreless streak with a good near-post header from Kianz Froese’s corner kick that gave Vancouver the lead midway through the second half. Greig has linked up play well as a target man for WFC2 throughout the season, but after scoring 10 goals in his first 12 games of the season, Greig will now be looked at to lead the side to a strong finish to the season as it closes in on a playoff berth of its own.
3. Irvin Parra has been a great find for S2 since his arrival in Seattle, and another bright performance was rewarded with his first goal for the side to get his side back on even terms shortly after it had gone behind. The California native was active throughout the first half, and forced a fine save from Spencer Richey in S2’s best chance in the first half, and his volleyed finish was perfectly placed off Zach Mathers’ corner kick to set up the grandstand finale that saw Jones grab victory with almost the final kick of the game.
USLSoccer.com Man of the Match
Darwin Jones, Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Jones’ stoppage-time winner lifted S2 to victory, and handed the side a massive lifeline in its push for a second consecutive playoff berth.
Seattle Sounders FC 2 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 – Sept. 5, 6 p.m. ET, McLeod Athletic Park
Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 2 – Sept. 5, 6 p.m. ET, McLeod Athletic Park