It took less than one minute of playing time for Seattle’s Tristan Bowen to score what the Sounders thought was a game-winning goal in the 79th minute of Saturday’s friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.
But a penalty kick from Hotspur’s Yago Falque produced the third and final tie of the match three minutes later, as Tottenham and Seattle played to a 3-3 draw in front of 55,349 at CenturyLink Field.
Bowen had just replaced Lamar Neagle, and moments later, he took a cross from Sean Okoli (who had subbed in five minutes earlier) and slammed it in from right in front of the goal line.
“I saw an open net, so I just busted my (butt) to get in front of the goal and give the defender a little nudge and that created a little bit of space for me,” he said. “(The ball) came right across and all I had to do was tap it in.”
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But in the 82nd minute, DeAndre Yedlin was called for a handball in the penalty area and moments later Tottenham’s Falque converted his penalty kick after a near save from backup Sounders goalie Josh Ford.
It was the third tie of the match. The 2-2 tie before it was produced in a similar fashion: Osvaldo Alonso popped in a goal from about 30 yards out in the 49th minute after ripping one right down the middle and the ball ricocheting off the bottom of the crossbar.
That gave Seattle a 2-1 lead, but a penalty kick from Tottenham’s Roberto Soldado in the 55th minute tied it, after Stefan Frei dove to his right with the ball headed left.
The Sounders had plenty of chances to go into halftime with an advantage, with 12 shots in the first half. Seattle had more shots on goal (six) than Tottenham had total shots (five) during the first 45 minutes.
“I was happy with how we played in the first half, not all that happy with all our finishing in the first half,” said Sounders coach Sigi Schmid. “We had opportunities that we need to finish more of, and we could have been leading at halftime.”
But the teams went into halftime tied at 1-1. Tottenham got on the board early, after a straight-down-the-line header from Lewis Holtby found the net in the 11th minute.
Seattle had several shots in the next 20 minutes, including a wide-open header missed by Clint Dempsey and a Gonzalo Pineda miss after a no-look pass from Obafemi Martins.
But Pineda would get his in the 33rd minute. Tottenham’s Michael Dawson was called for a foul in the box, and Pineda took advantage with a penalty shot. Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel jumped to his right, but Pineda chipped it up the middle to tie the match at 1-1.
“We take away from (the match) the fact that we can possess the ball against a team like that,” Schmid said. “I think we’ve got to be a little better on finishing for sure. But also on this given day, we can compete.”
Saturday’s match against Tottenham was the Sounders’ only friendly this year. Before then, Seattle had held a 2-5 record in international friendlies since joining MLS in 2009.
• For the first time in history, the Sounders have put five players into the MLS All-Star game.
Fans voted three Sounders onto the MLS “Fan XI” – Clint Dempsey, DeAndre Yedlin and Obafemi Martins. And the Sounders announced on Saturday that two more – Chad Marshall and Osvaldo Alonso – had been named to the roster.
The five selections onto the All-Star team are the most by any one team in the league this year.
The MLS All-Star team will play on Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m. against Bayern Munich in Portland’s Providence Park.
While Dempsey, Yedlin and Martins were fan-voted onto the roster, Marshall and Alonso were chosen by All-Star coach Caleb Porter.
• The Sounders and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Greater Pennsylvania and West Virginia teamed up to give 18-year-old Xander Bailey a special moment Saturday. Bailey, who ESPN reported during the broadcast has cystic fibrosis, had been signed by the Sounders earlier in the week, and has been going through practice sessions with the team. He was listed in the starting lineup for Saturday’s friendly, went through warmups with the team and received the first touch of the game.
“I could see the look in his eyes and you could just tell he was overwhelmed, and he’s so appreciative,” Schmid said. “It makes for a day I know he’ll never forget and our guys won’t forget it either because it impacts us.
“We see what it means to him, and being able to help in that regard and be part of that sort of situation is unique and special for us as well.”
|Sounders in friendlies|
|Sounders FC is 2-5-1 in international friendlies.|
|July 18, 2009||Chelsea FC||Loss||2-0|
|Aug. 5, 2009||FC Barcelona||Loss||4-0|
|May 26, 2010||Boca Juniors||Win||3-0|
|July 18, 2010||Celtic FC||Loss||2-1|
|Oct. 12, 2010||Chivas de Guadalajara||Win||3-1|
|July 20, 2011||Manchester United||Loss||7-0|
|July 18, 2012||Chelsea FC||Loss||4-2|