2011 Sep 27

Sounders draw in Guatemala puts them through to the CCL quarterfinals

Comunicaciones  2 - 2  Seattle Sounders FC

Estadio Cementos Progreso, Guatemala City, Guatemala

7' COM: Transito Montepeque (Carlos Mejia)
44' SEA: Osvaldo Alonso
64' COM: Rafael Morales
89' SEA: Osvaldo Alonso

Comunicaciones: JJ Paredes; Edgar Martinez, Dagoberto Arriola, Erwin Morales, Rafael Morales; Rigoberto Gomez (Jose Del Aguila 46'), Fredy Thompson, Carlos Mejia, Carlos Ramirez, Bryan Ordonez (Abner Trigueros 77'); Transito Montepeque (Marvin Ceballos 57').
Substitutes not used: David Guerra, Marco Ciani, Elias Vasquez, Hernan Sandoval.

Seattle: Kasey Keller; Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl; Alvaro Fernandez, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 74'), Osvaldo Alonso, Lamar Neagle (Nate Jaqua 90'); Fredy Montero, Mike Fucito (Sammy Ochoa 66').
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Taylor Graham, Amadou Sanyang, David Estrada.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Osvaldo Alonso twice brought the Seattle Sounders FC back to draw host Comunicaciones 2-2 and qualify for the quarterfinals in the CONCACAF Champions League. Seattle can take first in the group with a win or draw against Monterrey in Seattle on Oct 18.

Comunicaciones went up early with a goal from Transito Montepeque, then went ahead 2-1 with a goal from Rafael Morales, but Alonso scored a minute before the end of each half to give Seattle the point they needed. Comunicaciones are still alive in the CCL group, hoping for a win at Heredianos in their final group match along with a Seattle win over Monterrey.

The weather was wet, turning from rain in the first half to heavy rain in the second. It was an artificial turf, so there was no mud and drainage seemed good.

Lamar Neagle showed Seattle's intent to shoot in just the second minute, bending a 25-yard shot just a foot over the bar. Seattle had 24 more shots in the chambers.

7' COM: Montepeque (Mejia). Seattle blew the offside trap at the halfway line when Jeff Parke stepped back on the right side, keeping Montepeque onside on his run past Jhon Kennedy Hurtado as Carlos Mejia chipped a pass over the defense. Montepeque had nobody close to him and caught Keller coming out, chipping a 25-yard shot over Keller that glanced off the middle of the crossbar on the way in. 1-0 Comunicaciones.

Seattle pressed hard for the equalizer two minutes later. Fredy Montero put Mike Fucito in close on the left, and he dropped a pass for Neagle, whose shot was blocked. Tyson Wahl sent the ball back in and Neagle headed it to Montero for a close shot on goal, and JJ Paredes acrobatically one-handed it over the bar. On the resulting corner kick, Zach Scott's header missed the top corner by a yard.

Comunicaciones regained the initiative when Montepeque's cross to the 6-yard line was touched by Mejia and rolled a yard wide of the far post. From a corner kick play, Mejia's bicycle kick hit the intersection of the post and the crossbar and rebounded into play. With the Sounders flat-footed, Bryan Ordonez hammered the rebound and it went just a foot wide of the near post. Near the half hour mark, Mejia was gifted with a close shot when Parke missed the ball in the air and Scott assumed that Keller would be there, but he wasn't and had to rush out to cut down the angle, forcing Mejia's shot a foot wide of the far post.

Past 30 minutes the momentum went to Seattle. Fucito's long free kick was head-flicked a half yard wide of the lower far corner. A quick strike from 30 yards by Montero forced Paredes to get down quickly and push the ball wide. Fucito's resulting corner kick was head-flicked in front of goal by Alvaro Fernandez, and Montero's stab at it in the goal area only deflected it wide.

44' SEA: Alonso. Seattle's first goal came on a throw-in play earned when Alonso's hard shot was blocked wide. Scott sent in a long throw-in that bounced at the near corner of the goal area, then was cleared from the goal area, but right to Alonso. The midfielder pounced on it, volleying a shot on goal that deflected slightly off a defender, giving Paredes no chance to stop it. 1-1. After the goal, Alonso pulled out a shin guard and held it up to the camera. It said "Happy Birthday" in honor of his wife back in Seattle.

Seattle maintained the momentum to open the second half. In the first minute Montero headed Neagle's cross on goal, but within reach of Paredes. From Montero's short pass forward, Fucito's quick turn and shoot from the top of the arc went inches over the bar. Montero tried from the halfway line after a turnover and missed by two yards. Fernandez put Fucito in on goal, with only Paredes to beat, but Fucito shot low right at Paredes.

The first Comunicaciones shot of the second half came just past an hour and was immediately blocked.

64' COM: R Morales. The go-ahead goal came on Comunicaciones' first corner kick of the half. Keller came out to the 6-yard line in a crowd to try to punch it away, but knocked it down and into Scott. The ball fell fortuitously for R Morales, who quickly sent the gift ball home. 2-1 Comunicaciones.

For Comunicaciones, the next shot came from teenage substitute Marvin Ceballos, who missed the top corner by a foot from 25 yards.

For Seattle, the next shot was from substitute Sammy Ochoa, who sent a 15-yarder right at Paredes.

Comunicaciones' defense made it to 80' with no problems, then Seattle started getting chances. At 82' Montero's 15-yard header went well wide after a great setup by Fernandez. At 84' Montero's fine shot from 20 hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced down a yard to the wrong side of the goal line. Fernandez had a chance from the rebound, but Paredes deflected it and a defender cleared it. At 86' Scott's long throw-in bounced in the goal area, but Paredes won it.

89' SEA: Alonso. Seattle's tying goal came after a great series of passes from a free kick taken by Keller near his area. Alonso had a couple of touches while the ball was knocked around the back, then Parke chipped the ball to the 18-yard line, where the 50-50 ball ended up getting headed wide to Wahl. The pass went from Wahl to Neagle at the 18, and Neagle put a short through ball to Ochoa, who crossed to the center of the 6-yard line for Montero's sliding attempt. Montero's marker instead got the ball, but cleared it only a few yards to Alonso, who was able to fire a shot into the center of goal because Paredes had gone down to cover the potential shot by Montero. 2-2.

Three minutes were added, and only in the last of those minutes did Keller have to make his first save of the half, an easy save of a 20-yard shot.

          COM   SEA
Shots:     11    25
Saves:      5     3
Corners:    2     3
Fouls:     11    11
Offsides:   6     1

75' COM: E Morales cautioned for tripping Fernandez from behind
87' SEA: Hurtado cautioned for a tactical foul

Referees: Roberto Garcia (Mexico); Alejandro Ayala, Victor Calderon; Jorge Gasso

Attendance: not reported

Postmatch Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Sounders FC Head Coach

On earning a point: "We are very happy with the tie. We knew we at least needed to get points here ... I thought we made a couple of mistakes that were uncharacteristic of us, especially with Kasey Keller making that kind of mistake. I think we bailed him out tonight. But we are very, very happy."

On the game: "Our goal as a team was to tie. Comunicaciones was playing a lot of long balls in behind so we had to do a better job of making sure we ran and got to those long balls. Our team has very good character so I was very confident that we could come and tie the game. I think we have the most come-from-behind wins and ties in our league. It's in the character of this team."

On Comunicaciones: "I think Comunicaciones played very well. They played with tremendous heart and desire. It was very evident that they were playing with a lot of emotion. I think they played better than they played us in Seattle, for sure. And then the early goal helps them. We had some chances, didn't get one, finally got one. I thought Comunicaciones did a good job, had a good game plan, was a little more direct than maybe we would have expected, but I thought they were very dangerous."

Osvaldo Alonso

On scoring two goals: "I'm very happy. I'm very proud of myself. We get a result tonight. We get to advance to the next round, which is good for the team."

On importance of the game to him: "For me, unbelievable ... Now, the main focus for me is to keep winning as we go into the next round ... Now everybody is happy. Everybody is proud of us. So now we keep going."

On his goal celebration after first goal: "I did that because ... it's my wife's birthday. I'm very happy for that. I think it's good for her."

Tyson Wahl

On the importance of the result: "Obviously it's an exciting time for the team. We are kind of set up to do that this year. Last year we weren't satisfied with our performances in this tournament so this year I think we really showed our depth, showed how we have grown and matured as a team and the expectations keep on rising and we are meeting the new high expectations. So I think we are all excited. It was sloppy tonight. It was definitely raining hard but we got the job done. Ozzie obviously had timely goals and we made it interesting. We come out of here with a tie and advance, good times."

On Osvaldo Alonso: "Even though he doesn't score the most goals he's our most valuable player. I think if you ask anyone else they would say that. So even if he is not scoring goals he is making a difference elsewhere. Tonight he was finishing off some of his chances so it's good."

On the defense: "I think we had some miscommunication issues. Sometimes we were stepping when we should have been just dropping off. As I said they were really looking to get behind us. On the first goal it could've been offside, I'd like to look at it. We definitely should have been backing off a little bit more. In the second half I feel like we cleaned it up a little bit."

On looking forward: "We are looking to continuing our success in league and getting shutouts."

On the equalizing goal: "It was chaotic from what I remember. I was just trying to get forward and get involved. It was on the right side. The ball bounced kind of on a deep cross, popped over Sammy and a couple other guys, came to me, I trapped it. I played a short ball into Sammy and I think he ended up shooting it and knocking it back to Ozzie, maybe, from my memory. I was just trying to push forward and make something happen. I was just trying to get in a cross and the ball popped out to me and I put it back in there. Sammy did a good job backing into guys and holding the ball up for us."