Sounders FC misses chances, finishes with fifth straight draw
Freddie Ljungberg, in his first action in three games, can't connect on a penalty kick as Seattle ties Columbus 1-1
Seattle Times staff reporter
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A lackluster start gave way to a wild finish Saturday night at Qwest Field, and when the final whistle blew, nothing was settled.
Sounders FC rallied to earn a 1-1 draw with the Columbus Crew, but defender Tyrone Marshall, who had played every minute of every Major League Soccer regular-season game before last night, was issued a red card and ejected in extra time of the second half.
So Seattle (4-2-5) had to play out the last couple of minutes with 10 players and yet survived for its fifth straight draw, hardly the result it sought playing at home for the first time in three weeks. The tie didn't necessarily make the players, the crowd of 29,126 and especially coach Sigi Schmid very happy, as Schmid had some choice words for his team about its focus and being overly concerned about the referee's calls.
"We paid too much attention to the referee," Schmid said. "I'm a big believer that you've got so much energy to expend over 90 minutes and if you expend a lot of energy dealing with the referee, you're not going to have that energy to deal with the game."
Marshall's ejection came when the assistant referee came to the conclusion that Marshall threw a punch at the Crew's Steven Lenhart, as Schmid understood it. Marshall fumed after the game and was incredulous that the call came so late in the match.
"He ran into me with his elbow," Marshall said of Lenhart. "Being the competitor I am, I'm not going to take that ... I guess the retaliation, the linesman saw that part, and didn't see the first part of it."
A few seconds further into his diatribe, Marshall stopped. "I probably shouldn't say anymore, because then I'll be getting more fines."
But Marshall took one last shot, mentioning that he thinks his team has been hurt by unfair calls and that he thought Lenhart deserved a red, too. The veteran will have to miss Sounders FC's match at first-place Chivas USA next weekend, and is the fourth Seattle player to be red-carded this season.
Efforts to contact referee Michael Kennedy didn't produce a response from him.
All that aside, Sounders FC was the better team as far as offensive play. One such moment led to a penalty kick for midfielder Freddie Ljungberg, who'd missed the past two games due to effects of a migraine.
In the 32nd minute, Ljungberg was taken down in the penalty area after controlling a pass from midfielder Steve Zakuani. But his penalty kick went wide left.
"I hit it quite hard and it curled around the corner unfortunately," Ljungberg said. "Next time it'll go in, but it happens, unfortunately."
Ljungberg atoned for his miscue with solid play from his attacking position and provided an assist for Nate Jaqua's equalizing strike in the 58th minute.
Things looked bleak for the Rave Green before that. In the 12th minute, defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado allowed Crew forward Alejandro Moreno to get ahead of him on a run down the middle in front of the goal. Moreno was in perfect position to knock in a good cross from teammate Pat Noonan for a 1-0 Crew lead.
The second half saw an energized Sounders FC pick up the tempo. Jaqua was there to control Ljungberg's blooper and hammer it home inside the far post in one motion.
"A good ball through, and I was kind of waiting on it," Jaqua said.
José Miguel Romero: 206-464-2409 or email@example.com
SOUNDERS FC 1, CREW 1
|Columbus||1 0 — 1|
|Seattle||0 1 — 1|
Columbus — Gruenebaum (GK), Padula, O'Rourke (Oughton, 97th), Moreno, Noonan (Schelotto, 69th), Gaven, Marshall, Ekpo (Lenhart, 80th), Rogers, Brunner, Zayner.
Seattle — Casey Keller (GK), Brad Evans, Tyson Wahl, James Riley, Peter Vagenas (Ianni, 64th), Freddie Ljungberg, Steve Zakuani, Tyrone Marshall, Fredy Montero (Sturgis, 94th), Nate Jaqua (Sebastien Le Toux, 83rd), Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
|Columbus||1 0 — 1|
|Seattle||0 1 — 1|
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