Seattle Sounders Rally In CONCACAF Champions League to Oust Tigres


The Seattle Sounders returned to the Pacific Northwest down one goal to Tigres.  The storyline prior to the match was that Tigres sent a “B team” to Seattle, although they are one of the deepest, most talented teams in Mexico.  The Sounders conceded a goal in the first half and were showing a lackluster effort.  However, a red card prior to the halftime whistle would turn the match.  The Sounders would score three in the second half, including two top notch tallies, which was capped by Eddie Johnson.  That would be enough to move on 3-2 on aggregate.

Mar 12, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; UANL Tigres goalkeeper Jorge Dias de Leon (13) punches the ball over UANL Tigres midfielder Abraham Stringel (25) and Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Andy Rose (25) during the 1st half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Elías Hernández quieted the CenturyLink crowd with the first half goal that created an even bigger hole for the Sounders.  They now needed three goals to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal.  The Sounders would get life when Manuel Viniegra was given his second yellow card leaving Tigres to 10 men for the entire second half.

The Mexican squad would press immediately after the match resumed, but were quickly under pressure.  Seattle started to build and they ended their 252-minute scoreless streak to begin the year in the 53rd minute.  Off a cleared corner DeAndre Yedlin did not hesitate and cracked it from 30 yards.  The ball took a deflection and snuck inside the post passed a diving Jorge Diaz de Leon.

Djimi Traore bested his teammate with the goal of the night about six minutes later.  A bad touch by Mario Martinez allow for a clearance but Traore ran right into the ball contacting it perfectly.  The blazing shot went off the underside of the crossbar and down for an amazing effort.

The Sounders had to press for the third goal to advance and that would come from Johnson after a less than par first half.  Johnson was playing wide most of the match and began filtering in on the rush more and more in the second half. However, this rush was started by Steve Zakuani down the left with a perfect ball as Johnson found his way behind a defender.  Zakuani’s pass was just a portion of a great individual game.  Johnson used his speed to get to the end line and finished on his left foot from a crazy angle.  He would celebrate by giving a two footed kick to the corner flag.

Michael Gspurning made a great save just before half time and escaped a near miss in second half stoppage time.  The win would be the first for an MLS team over a Mexican side in the current CONCACAF format over a two leg tie.  Overall it was the first win for an MLS side over a Mexican team since 2002.  The nine changes in the starting XI for Tigres may be a talking point, but the outcome will not change.  Seattle will now face the winner of Houston versus Santos Laguna.