Nil-nil in a very tense game. It was interesting to see two sides so determined not to give anything away. The pace was frantic at time and a lot of players looked nervous.
The crowd was awesome, a great atmosphere and today I can hardly speak I’m so hoarse. It was a fantastic night and I’m slowly working my way through the beer list at Elysian Fields pregame.
Ljungberg had a great game and everything that went well ran through him. Unfortunately Montero looked a little out of sorts, the couple of chances that came to him he took very well, the best was in the second half when he made the best of a very good half chance off a precise through ball from Ljungberg. Alonso, Ianni and Jaqua all stepped up and had their best games for a while. Ianni had a great game and was effective at both ends of the pitch.
Once again there will be complaints about the officiating, with some justification. It was a very physical game and the man in the middle seemed to loose some control of the game mid way through the first half. He was inconsistent and that made it hard to have a flowing game. For example: the ref had been playing advantage and allowing the game to flow all night, untill Nate Jaqua was bearing down on goal after a great pass through the defence that was called back.
Having watched the replay it’s difficult to see how Onstad got off with just a yellow. It’s hard to see how that’s not a red, I assume Montero’s yellow was for simulation, but it seems disproportionate.
Houston played a very conservative game, happy to maintain possession and try to hit on the break. This will certainly change in Houston where the home team has a perceived advantage and they need to be more positive in looking for a result.
The Sounders have done well against this style of play (Columbus, DC, Galaxy and Toronto come to mind) and are very capable of taking the tie in Houston.
Now it’s all down to a one game playoff in Houston. The Sounders away form has been nothing short of superb during the second half of the season. After yesterdays game where neither side was able to really control the game shows the predictions of this series being to close to call were correct. It’s just going to take a single mistake to decide who is going through to the semi final.