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Dan Poss

Seattle Sounders FC 1, Orlando City SC 1 - Sounders forced to settle for frustrating point after late equalizer

SEATTLE – Will Bruin scored his fifth goal of the season but Orlando City SC’s Scott Sutter bagged a dramatic equalizer at the death, forcing the Seattle Sounders to settle for a disappointing 1-1 draw against the Lions at CenturyLink Field on Wednesday.

Seattle looked to have the 1-0 win in the bag after holding Orlando off the scoresheet until second-half stoppage time following Bruin’s tally, but Sutter cashed home a header off a set piece on the last kick of the game to seal the draw.

Seattle were down a couple of regular starters on their backline for the match, with 19-year-old rookie Nouhou making his first career MLS start in place of Joevin Jones, who was resting in a double-match week after international duty with Trinidad and Tobago. Midfielder Cristian Roldan also drew the start at right back in place of Brad Evans, who was resting a nagging calf injury.

After a back-and-forth start, Bruin opened the scoring in the 18th minute after he collected a long pass from Nicolas Lodeiro in the Orlando penalty box before unleashing a perfectly-placed finish past Lions’ goalkeeper Joe Bendik at the near post, giving the Sounders the 1-0 advantage. The goal was Bruin's team-leading fifth tally of the season.

Orlando’s best chance of the opening half had come shortly after kickoff when attacker Carlos Rivas broke an offside trap and found himself in a one-on-one against Sounders ‘keeper Stefan Frei. But Frei managed a kick save on Rivas’ shot to keep the visitors off the scoresheet.

Neither team would manage a tally on either side of Bruin’s goal and the contest would head into halftime with Seattle nursing the 1-0 lead.

Rivas had a good look at an equalizer just after second-half kickoff after he got on the end of a cross in front of goal, but Frei thwarted the attempt with a reaction save to preserve the lead. The Sounders almost doubled the lead themselves on a couple of occasions, most notably after a wild sequence in the 59th minute that saw Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey and Ozzie Alonso all have chances that were denied by Bendik.

With a franchise-record home shutout streak attained, the Sounders looked to be headed for a fourth-straight win at CenturyLink Field, but were left in heartbreak as Sutter earned Orlando City a point at the last possible second. After PC was fouled by Torres, Kaka curled in a free kick from the edge of the box that Sutter managed to get on the end of heading it past Frei sending Seattle to the disappointing finish.

The draw moved the Sounders 5-7-5 on the season ahead of their next match – a massive Cascadia Cup derby against the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday night at 7:30PM.

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