The whistle blows, perhaps fortuitously, and the Sounders have earned a penalty kick with a chance to tie the game late against Vancouver.
Brad Evans trots up to take the kick but sees Gonzalo Pineda grab the ball.
Evans said afterward he wasn’t sure who was listed as No. 1 on the board by coach Sigi Schmid to take PKs. Pineda, who conceded a spot kick earlier in the season is Clint Dempsey, is sure it was him.
“Coach says it can be (Obafemi Martins), it can be Brad, it can be me — when Clint is here, it can also be Clint — but I know I just felt confident,” Pineda said. “I said, ‘This is my time.'”
The result? A cheeky chip down the middle of the goal, an attempt called the Panenka after former Czech forward Antonin Panenka, who made the shot famous.
It looked something like this (photo credit: Darryl Dyck, AP):
And here is the video version:
As soon as Pineda placed the ball on the spot, he was thinking, ‘How am I going to take this?’ He figured at such a crucial moment in a heated rivalry game on the road, there is no way Whitecaps goalkeeper David Ousted would expect a chip down the middle.
The moment felt right.
Pineda also has confidence in the shot having successfully converted the attempt in shootouts against Argentina in the 2005 Confederations Cup (with Mexico, watch here) and against Pachuca in the 2007 CONCACAF Champions Cup final (with Chivas, watch here at the 4:45 mark).
“I only try it when it’s the right moment, when nobody expects it,” Pineda said. “My first goal is to score, not to be fancy or something like that. It’s just to score the goal.”
The Sounders are 2 for 3 on PKs this season, 14 for 22 all-time in MLS games (13 of their last 18).
Evans has gone 7 for 7. The rest of the team has gone 7 for 15, with 10 different players in that group.
There was another noteworthy moment with Pineda on Saturday: a minor altercation with Vancouver coach Carl Robinson, a play that led to a little pushing and shoving between the teams (no cards were issued).
The incident started when Pineda tangled with an opponent in front of the Whitecaps bench and the ball went out of bounds. Pineda was convinced it was a Sounders’ throw-in and pursued the ball for a quick restart. Robinson was holding the ball, and convinced it was a Vancouver throw-in, kept it in his hands.
Pineda then slapped the ball out of Robinson’s hands, which wasn’t taken kindly by some of the Whitecaps players. While there was no immediate signal from referee Ismail Elfath for which team was supposed to take the throw-in, it was ultimately Vancouver’s ball as it last touched Pineda on the way out of bounds.
“It was my mistake, probably,” Pineda said. “I just thought that it was my throw. I asked him for the ball and he hid it from me. I wanted to play quickly so I hit the ball. It was wrong from me. At the end of the game I said sorry to him and probably it was my mistake. I didn’t mean it. I just want to play quickly because I thought it was a good opportunity for us to play quick, but probably it was my mistake.”