2012 Mar 14

Sounders flop against Santos Laguna in CCL quarterfinals

Santos Laguna  6 - 1  Seattle Sounders FC

Torreon, Mexico

8' SAN: Christian Suarez
10' SAN: Oribe Peralta (Daniel Ludueña)
37' SEA: Alvaro Fernandez (Fredy Montero)
49' SAN: Herculez Gomez (Christian Suarez)
67' SAN: Herculez Gomez (Oribe Peralta, Jorge Estrada)
76' SAN: Christian Suarez (Jorge Estrada)
81' SAN: Carlos Ochoa

Santos: Oswaldo Sanchez; Jorge Estrada, Aaron Galindo, Felipe Baloy, Osmar Mares; Daniel Ludueña (Candido Ramirez 63'), Juan Pablo Rodriguez, Marc Crosas (Rodolfo Salinas 33'); Herculez Gomez (Carlos Ochoa 69'), Oribe Peralta, Christian Suarez.
Substitutes not used: Miguel Becerra, Santiago Hoyos, Cesar Ibanez, Carlos Morales.

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Adam Johansson, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez (Christian Sivebæk 77'); Mauro Rosales, Brad Evans, Osvaldo Alonso, Alvaro Fernandez; Fredy Montero, David Estrada (Eddie Johnson 62', Roger Levesque 81').
Substitutes not used: Andrew Webber, Patrick Ianni, Marc Burch, Servando Carrasco.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC bowed out of the 2011-2012 CONCACAF Champions League at the quarterfinal level with their worst loss in competition in the MLS era. It was 6-1 to the host Santos Laguna, who advance by 4 goals on aggregate. It was dead even at 3 goals apiece on aggregate at the half, but the hosts scored 4 unanswered goals in the second half to embarass the Sounders, who were supposedly the fresher team with a bye last weekend.

Seattle pressed on the attack the whole match and created plenty of chances, although they finished only one. Santos defended better and picked Seattle's defense apart on the counterattack multiple times.

Seattle looked threatening at 7' when Mauro Rosales' corner kick, the first of the match, was served to Alvaro Fernandez' near-post run for a sharp header, but it went right at goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez. The rebound was headed down towards the far corner by Brad Evans, but Sanchez dove onto the goal line to block it for a double save.

8' SAN: Suarez. This one was all Christian Suarez, who moved sideways 20 yards from goal to get free of Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, then squeezed a shot past Jeff Parke that beat goalkeeper Michael Gspurning inside the near post. 1-0 Santos.

10' SAN: Peralta (Ludueña). Just two minutes later Daniel Ludueña served a ball into the center of the penalty area for Oribe Peralta, who won kit ball side of Hurtado, and spun around the defender to get off the shot, again beating Gspurning to the near side. 2-0 Santos.

The keepers were best the next 20 minutes. From a Santos free kick play, Marc Crosas fired a 20-yarder that had eyes for the top far corner, but Gspurning tipped it outside the frame. From a Seattle build-up, Rosales fed David Estrada open on the left for a low shot that went right to SAnchez' feet.

37' SEA: Fernandez (Montero). After advantage was allowed on a Seattle attack, Fredy Montero got the ball wide left and bent a perfect cross to Alvaro Fernandez out from the far post for a header that was nicely aimed down and in. 2-1 Santos.

That was it for the half except for a dangerous Santos cross that was deflected on goal and had to be punched away by Gspurning.

It was 3-3 on aggregate at the half, dead even with an away goal apiece.

Herculez Gomez claimed the match for Santos in the second half. He had an early chance when he sneaked in front of goal to take a cross unmarked, but he fired it over the bar.

49' SAN: Gomez (Suarez). After a Seattle chance was broken up at the other end, Santos broke on the counterattack. Suarez took a pass open on the left, drew some attention, and rolled a square cross behind the first runner to Gomez coming in on the second run to the far post. Defender Leo Gonzalez slipped when he tried to change directions, and Gomez calmly shot to the now open far side. 3-1 Santos.

Seattle needed a goal to get the aggregate advantage via the away goal rule, and Fernandez headed a Seattle free kick inches over the bar an hour in.

A few minutes later for Santos Peralta split the defense with a diagonal run to recieve a short pass and he shot inches over the bar.

Seattle forward Eddie Johnson entered at 62' and soon forced Sanchez to make a tough save from a 15-yard shot aimed at the lower near corner.

67' SAN: Gomez (Peralta, Estrada). Right back Jorge Estrada attacked up the middle and served Peralta into an acre of space on the right side. Peralta entered the penalty area and layed off a diagonal pass in front of Gomez' run up the middle. Gomez was ball side and goal side of Adam Johansson to finish from short range. 4-1 Santos.

Seattle now needed two goals, and shots by Fernandez, Evans and Montero were all immediately blocked by defenders.

75' SAN: Suarez (Estrada). Right back Estrada again attacked up the middle, drawing defenders, and laid off a pass to Suarez open o0n the right. Suarez blasted a low shot past Gspurning's feet to the far side. 5-1 Santos.

81' SAN: Ochoa. A long ball found substitute Carlos Ochoa wide open on the right, and he shot from the 18, beating Gspurning to the far side to complete the rout. 6-1 Santos.

Seattle striker Johnson came in as a substitute and left after less than 20 minutes with a hip flexor injury.

          SAN   SEA
Shots:     19    18
Saves:      5     4
Corners:    3     6
Fouls:     20    15
Offsides:   5     0

14' SEA: Gonzalez cautioned
30' SEA: Montero cautioned for handling the ball
37' SAN: Peralta cautioned
45' SAN: Baloy cautioned for holding Estrada
88' SAN: Rodriguez cautioned for a late challenge on Sivebæk

Referees: Joel Aguilar (El Salvador); William Torres, Juan Francisco Zumba; Elmer Bonilla.

Attendance: 14,278

Post-Match Quotes

Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On what changed in the second half: "I thought at the end of the first half, the last 20 minutes, we put ourselves back in the game and we played better. We were a little unlucky early in the game when we had the good header from Fernandez that we could have scored on. Then we came out in the second half — Mauro Rosales had a chance, then they scored off the counter and made it 3-1. Then David Estrada had a good chance and we didn't put that away. When they made it 4-1 I think we lost our concentration. We have to look at why we started the game slowly, why we started the second half slowly. I have to look at that and see what I can change to make sure that doesn't happen."

On Santos Laguna's counter-attack goals: "I think losing concentration in the moment, not running with people. Defensively I thought we had a poor game today. I think they won the duels. They won a lot of the duels. When they win all the 50/50 balls, its tough for your team to gain momentum. From that standpoint it was disappointing. Like I say, it's easy to point fingers and say this guy or that guy didn't have a good game. Us as a coaching staff, we need to look at it and we need to see what we need to do to avoid these kind of things in the future."

On the mood at halftime: "At halftime I thought it was good because at halftime the score was basically zero-zero. We were down 2-1, but we had won 2-1 at home so it was a zero-zero game and there were 45 minutes to go. We felt that the first 20 minutes of the second half was going to be very important — we told them that — but obviously they scored goals and our reaction wasn't good."

On what has to be done before Saturday: "We need to show our character, our character has to show through. I'll think about it more tomorrow. Certainly there are probably some changes we need to make in our team because of fatigue and maybe performance, as well. It's just a matter of us showing our character right now and standing back up. It's easy to go hide after a loss like this."

On what they can take from the game: "Right now it doesn't seem like we can take a lot, except that we know we have to improve our defending. We still need to find a way to get through these difficult moments. We've been a good road team and we've played well on the road, but today we didn't play well and Santos was very, very good."

Michael Gspurning

On how they rebound Saturday: "First of all, Santos was the better team today, but I don't believe that we deserved this result tonight. I don't care about the result or anything after it's over. What I care about and what the team cares about is Saturday and our opening game of the season...We have to keep our head up and work on Saturday."

On how he will shake this off: "I will think about the game and the goals, but I don't think I can do that many things...If the game is like this you have to accept it...We will look forward to Saturday. Saturday is a new game. It's a pity for us and for the fans because we wanted this so much and this result is not a good sign from us to the fans and the MLS, but this game is over and we have to look forward to Saturday."

Mauro Rosales

On the mood at halftime: "I think we did very well in the first half. We could score, we tied the score in the first half. We were very confident in the second half to start, but after five minutes they scored. We were still looking for a goal and every counter they could score. It was a tough loss. They were a better team in the second half. We could have scored another goal. I think we had the chances. It was a pity that the score was that bad because I don't think we deserved that, but that's okay. That's futbol."

Looking forward to Saturday: "We have the match Saturday. Everybody has to know that we made many mistakes and we have to figure it out as soon as possible because we have to start the competition in the best way. Looking for a win. It's tough to recover after that, but we have to."

On the feeling in the locker room after the game: "It was painful because we didn't expect that. We had lots of confidence before the game and there was confidence at the half. It was a pity that we made the mistakes and they could score. They made us pay for every mistake we had in the game. I think that was the reason. It was painful, but we have to keep it up and try to figure it out as soon as possible."