Sounders Roll Over Santos Laguna, Head To Mexico Up 2-1

Posted on 08 March 2012 by Kyle Alm

In what had been hailed as the biggest match in club history, Sounders donned their Super Cyan jerseys and met Santos Laguna for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals in Seattle.

Sounders fielded the usual suspects  in their staring eleven, with David Estrada filling in Eddie Johnson as Fredy Montero’s strike partner.

Both sides were able to scamper back and forth in the first five minutes, neither side able to muster a shot on goal except for a Rosales strike that went directly at the goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

In the 11th minute Fredy Montero crossed a ball into space near the back post for a streaking David Estrada who put his diving header past Sanchez for the opening goal, second assist to Leo Gonzalez. Shortly afterward, Adam Johansson got into the attacking third on an overlapping run to cross for Montero, but the Colombian was unable to collect his balance for a header and the ball deflected off of his shoulder.

19′ Heculez Gomez gets a ball and the top left of the box and tests Gspurning who was unable to gather the ball, but Johansson was closest and able to clear the ball out of bounds for a corner.

Alvaro Fernandez had the play of the night that was nearly a spectacular goal a little give and go with Rosales on the left side. Alvaro got a ball parallel to the top of the box, gave a little dummy like he was going to break for the endline before letting the ball continue to roll setting him up for a curling right footer than went just over the bar.

45′ Juan Pablo Rodriguez tried to flick a header passed Gspurning that landed on top of the goal roof just before the half expired.

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Santos were clearly frustrated by the clever off the ball movement by Sounders, the elbow to Fernandez’s face is probably out of that frustration. Santos did not create an easy goal scoring opportunity. Their balls into the box were searching and hopeful. There were no substitutions for either side at the half.

Santos had a much more positive play than they did in the first half. After having difficulty creating space they were able to open up a few holes in Sounders defense and keep some possession.

52′ long ball to the corner from Rosales finds Estrada, Sanchez coming out to get the ball, crosses into the middle and finds no one.

58′ Leo Gonzalez is cautioned for tripping a player after he had been tripped.

Santos Laguna drew level in the 60′ when Marc Crosas crossed from top left of the box and found Herculez Gomez at the near post who finished his goal to the far post past a diving Gspurning.

Less than a minute after the restart Mauro Rosales crossed a set piece in to Brad Evans who managed to guide the ball home with the back of his head. Evans, not known for his scoring prowess and oft-maligned, had an understated, but competent, performance before scoring what would become the winning goal.

Hurtado was stretchered off late in the match but was able to reenter the match.

There appeared to be several altercations between Santos & Sounders players during the first leg in Seattle. It was consistent throughout the match. It is clear that winning this series and advancing to the semis is of the utmost importance to both clubs. Being down a goal and heading home is not a horrible position to be in.

After the match Sigi Schmid revealed that four starting players, Gspurning, Montero, Alonso, & Kennedy, were stuck in traffic due to a rollover accident in the Mount Baker tunnel on I-90. It wasn’t until 6:30 when all of the players were finally at the ground. Hopefully no one was seriously injured in the accident.

23,433 in attendance tonight.

 

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