SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 02: Fredy Montero #17 of the Seattle Sounders FC battles Tony Beltran #2 of Real Salt Lake at CenturyLink Field on November 2, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
That was the longest 90 minutes of the season, just like the match Saturday seemed to fly, this one seemed as if the clock couldn't move any slower.
I am not proud of how RSL played on Wednesday, but I don't believe it was dirty. In fact by the end of the match the Sounders had committed more fouls than RSL had, and both teams ended with two yellow cards. I thought the Sounders did an incredible job of pressuring the ball everywhere on the pitch, I think that perhaps all that pushing in the first half might have cost them in the end as the final 15 minutes the Sounders looked like they ran out of steam.
So just as we celebrated RSL being the better team on Saturday and cursed the Sounders for getting chippy, Wednesday provided the polar opposite. The Sounders were the better team, and RSL started the match rather chippy but both teams ended up playing that way.
As I look at the overall series there are simply two plays that may have been the difference and neither was made by a star of either team. On Saturday the late goal by Ned Grabavoy for RSL's 3rd goal, and Wednesday night the Tony Beltran clearance off the line of a sure goal. Of all the plays in both matches to me those two will stand out long after this season is over as the difference makers in this series.
OFF MY SOAPBOX