Sounders, Tottenham play to friendly draw


SEATTLE — 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.”

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.

 

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