Vancouver, BC (SportsNetwork.com) - Sebastian Fernandez netted inside the first 15 minutes of play on Saturday and Vancouver Whitecaps FC held on for a nervy 1-0 win over Seattle Sounders FC at BC Place in the latest edition of the Cascadia Cup rivalry.
Fernandez struck for the hosts after 12 minutes and the tally held up against the shorthanded Sounders to take Vancouver to 25 points from 16 matches and snap a brief three-match winless run in league play.
Seattle has been the best team this season, but were missing Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin due to World Cup duty with the United States. Seattle struggled to create chances and tasted defeat for just the fourth time this season to remain on 35 points.
The decisive strike came in the 12th minute. Gershon Koffie did well along the right flank to win the ball and slide it to Fernandez in the middle of the park. Fernandez took a touch, picked his head up and ripped a knuckling ball into the side netting, leaving Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei with no chance for a save.
Seattle fashioned its best chance of the contest on the hour mark as Tristan Bowen get free for an attempt on frame, but Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted did well to parry it away.
Vancouver responded with a chance off some quick transition work as Erik Hurtado got in behind the defense and went in on goal alone against Frei, but he scuffed his strike and it rolled harmlessly into the arms of Frei.
Seattle continued to push for the equalizer as the clock approached 90 minutes, but there would be no late Sounder magic and the 'Caps held on for an important three points.