Pedro Morales scored twice on penalty kicks to give the Vancouver Whitecaps their first victory of the season, 2-1 over the winless Seattle Sounders on Saturday night.
Vancouver (1-2-0) won after losing consecutive games to start a season for the first time in its five MLS campaigns.
It’s the first time Seattle (0-3-0) has started a season with three straight losses. The Sounders lost their first two matches as part of a 0-2-2 start in 2011.
Morales scored his second goal in the 74th minute to make it 2-1 in front of a crowd of 40,012 at CenturyLink Field. Chad Marshall received a yellow card for a slide tackle against Blas Perez in the penalty box to set up Morales’ third goal of the season.
"From my viewpoint I can see Chad and he clearly gets the ball," said Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei, who quickly ran to referee Mark Geiger to strongly protest the call. "Obviously, there's going to be contact because both guys are going for the ball. I don't know what he saw from his viewpoint, he only saw the contact and he didn't see the touch from Chad."
Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted saw it differently.
"He (Marshall) gets under Blas and cuts him down," Ousted said. "I can't from my end of it see if he gets some of the ball but it's going to be the referee's decision that's going to be a penalty, and luckily Pedro converted both of them."
Clint Dempsey had a chance to tie it in the 80th minute but his kick went just wide right. He had nine shots in the game as the Sounders outshot Vancouver 19-9. Ousted had four saves.
"He got an opening and that's one that he doesn't miss usually," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said.
Seattle midfielder Andreas Ivanschitz powered a left-footed kick to the upper left corner on a free kick from the edge of the box to tie it at 1-1 in the 52nd minute. Dempsey drew a foul on Morales to set up the kick. Morales received a yellow card for the hard foul.
"I'm not sure about the PKs. I haven't seen the replays yet," Schmid said. "But I've seen guys trip themselves in the box before so I know it can be done."
Vancouver coach Carl Robinson wasn't sure how to describe the fouls in the box against Seattle.
"I'm not going to sit here and say it's not two penalties or is," he said.
Seattle nearly scored off a header by Nelson Valdez in the 22nd minute but Ousted tipped the ball away near the left corner.
Dempsey had six shots in the first half as Seattle outshot the Whitecaps 11-4. But five shots by the Sounders were off target, four were blocked and two were saved.