2012 Sep 19

Sounders advance from group round with road win in Honduras

CD Marathon  2 - 3  Seattle Sounders FC

Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano, San Pedro Sula, Honduras

11' SEA: Sammy Ochoa (Mario Martinez)

35' MAR: Mario Berrios (PK)
62' SEA: Eddie Johnson (Andy Rose)
68' MAR: Mario Berrios (PK)
78' SEA: Brad Evans (Osvaldo Alonso)

Marathon: José Mendoza; Mauricio Sabillón, Pastor Martinez (Quiarol Arzu 77'), Reinieri Mayorquin, Luis Castro; Mario René Berríos, Mariano Acevedo, Julian Rapalo, Junior Sandoval (Christian Altamirano 46'); Mitchel Brown, Randy Diamond (Rony Flores 69').
Substitutes not used: Shane Orio, David Meza, Manuel Dono, Marco Vega.

Seattle: Michael Gspurning; Zach Scott, Patrick Ianni, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Marc Burch; Mario Martinez, Servando Carrasco, Andy Rose (Brad Evans 69'), Alex Caskey (Osvaldo Alonso 61'); Eddie Johnson (Fredy Montero 76'), Sammy Ochoa.
Substitutes not used: Josh Ford, Jeff Parke, Leo Gonzalez, Cordell Cato.

Match report from Ron Stickney:

Seattle Sounders FC stayed perfect in CONCACAF Champions League group round play with a 3-2 road win at CD Marathon in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Sammy Ochoa, Eddie Johnson, and substitute Brad Evans all scored to put Seattle ahead, but Marathon came back twice on penalty kicks by Mario Berrios.

Marathon had a few chances in the first ten minutes, but it was Seattle who scored first.

11' SEA: Ochoa (Martinez). Marc Burch fed Honduran native Mario Martinez for a cross from the left corner, and he curved it nicely to Ochoa, who won it on the 6-yard line between two defenders and headed a shot inside the near post. 1-0 Seattle.

A few minutes later Seattle came close to another as an Alex Caskey attempted cross nearly found home but was saved at the bar by goalkeeper José Mendoza. Mario Martinez should have fed an open Johnson at 26' but instead shot way over the bar under pressure.

Seattle netted the ball on the half hour mark when Mario Martinez' free kick was kicked up by Johnson and headed in by Zach Scott, but Scott was called for a foul on the goalkeeper when the play looked fair.

Twice in four minutes Johnson was in close to goal with the ball, but the first time he lost it to Luis Castro on a cutback move and the second time the defense did just enough to prevent a shot.

35' MAR: Berrios (PK). Mitchel Brown was nicely sprung in on goal on a nice through ball. Goalkeeper Michael Gspurning came out and slid feet first to get a slight deflection on the ball, but he was called for raising his leg to trip Brown on the follow-through, a tactical foul. Gspurning was cautioned and Berrios put the penalty kick inside the right post off Gspurning's fingertips. 1-1.

Johnson was next with a chance for Seattle when he was put through by Ochoa's short forward pass, and Mendoza did well to come out and force Johnson's chip attempt high.

Seattle weathered intense pressure for the last five minutes of the half. The best Marathon chances were Randy Diamond's blast from a poorly cleared ball, saved overhead by Gspurning, and Julian Rapalo's hard shot from the arc, again saved overhead.

After Marathon missed two early chances in the second half, Seattle re-gained the lead.

62' SEA: Johnson (Rose). Burch fed Andy Rose on the right touch line. Rose saw a chance to hit Johnson in the box, and he sent a nice long pass to Johnson, who held off Pastor Martinez on the trap and fired a quick shot inside the near post. 2-1 Seattle.

68' MAR: Berrios (PK). A penalty kick was unjustly awarded when Rapalo with the ball charged into Patrick Ianni just inside the penalty area and they both went down after their feet met. It did not deserve a whistle, but Berrios had his send penalty kick of the match and he put it just inside the left post as Gspurning guessed the other way. 2-2.

Marathon had a couple of chances to take the lead, first when substitute Rony Flores shot right in front of goal and had his shot slowed by a defender to allow Gspurning to make the save. Then substitute Christian Altamirano twisted a dangerous 20-yard shot inches over the bar.

78' SEA: Evans (Alonso). After a Seattle corner kick play was cleared, substitute Osvaldo Alonso sent a long cross to Evans, who beat his marker in the air and headed a shot into the top near corner for the match winner. 3-2 Seattle.

After getting an undeserved free kick from a flop, Marathon came close when the free kick had eyes for the lower far corner before Gspurning dove on it. The final chance was a cross headed softly on goal for an easy final save by Gspurning.

The two sides will meet in a month in Seattle, but the Sounders have already advanced from the group stage with maximum points from three of four matches. Expect the October 24 match to be contested largely by reserves from both sides.

          MAR   SEA
Shots:     21     8
Saves:      1     7
Corners:    6     4
Fouls:     17    19
Offsides:   5     3

26' SEA: Carrasco cautioned for a late foul on Acevedo
35' SEA: Gspurning cautioned for a tactical foul on Brown
42' MAR: Castro cautioned for persistent infringement
67' SEA: Ianni cautioned, probably for dissent after a bogus penalty kick was awarded
72' SEA: Scott cautioned for a late foul on Berrios
85' MAR: Mayorquin cautioned for a late foul on Alonso

Referees: Marlon Mejía (El Salvador); Héctor Recinos, Geovany García; Rubén Medrano

Attendance: not reported

Post-Match Quotes

Seattle Sounders FC

Sigi Schmid - Head Coach

On qualifying for the CCL quarterfinals: "It's tremendous. It's a goal we set for ourselves -- that we want to qualify tonight -- and we were able to accomplish that. It means that the last game now, which is during the last week of our season right before an important game with LA ... we can go into that game relaxed and free of mind. I was really proud. Obviously we put a lot of players out there who aren't regularly in our starting lineup, but I thought they came through and they played very, very well."

On going up 1-0 early: "Going into the game we felt confident we would get chances. We knew they were going to get some chances, too, because it's their style of play, they're wide open, and that they were going to press the issue. It was certainly a great cross from Mario, and Sammy got good position. It was a great header ... It was a great ball, it was a great service, and it was a great header. I thought Sammy Ochoa was very good tonight."

On going into halftime tied 1-1: "It was difficult because both of their penalty kicks came right on the heels of us having a good scoring opportunity. In the first half, Eddie Johnson was in the box. It looked like he had dribbled past the guy, had a shot, tried to dribble the goalkeeper, didn't get the shot off. Then they come down and get a penalty kick. Same thing happened in the second half. One of the things we talked to Eddie about was, 'Just shoot, because you don't have to get clear. We don't think the goalkeeper is that good. Just hit the ball,' and in the second half he did -- and that got us a second goal. It was ironic the way both penalties came right on the opposite end of us having a very good scoring chance."

On the changes in the second half: "What we tried to do was just stay a little deeper with Andy Rose and Carrasco, and have the outside midfielders pinch in a little bit more, Caskey and Mario -- give Mario a little more freedom to come inside. It opened up the flanks for them a little bit, but I also thought it gave us some good situations to counter off of. Again, we were unlucky maybe not to get a couple more. It's the kind of game when you play down here like this in the heat and humidity and the size of the field and a team that knows they've got to get a result, the game's going to be wide open, so it should have been an exciting game."

On Brad Evans' game-winner: "It was great. Obviously, we've taken four goals in this competition so far, and all four have been on PKs. We were afraid they were going to call another PK on the other end. We were disappointed in the second one to give up and it was 2-2, but then obviously Alonso played the ball over. It was a great cross, and Brad, very similar to Sammy Ochoa, got good position and hit a good header and put it in the back of the net. His heading ability is a quality that Brad brings to the game for us."

On Saturday's game against San Jose: "We want to win. It's a six-point game against San Jose. We were disappointed in Portland that we didn't pick up the three points there. We ended up only coming away with one. We need to get three points here to put ourselves in serious contention for the Western division title and keep our distance from the Galaxy and the teams chasing up behind us, as well. It's definitely a six-point game, it's a big game, and it's great we were able to rest some guys."

Brad Evans

On advancing in the CCL: "Our goal coming down here was we don't want to leave anything in the last game to chance ... For us, it's a good confidence-booster going into this weekend, especially with a big one coming up. This win under our belt will help us along the way in the long run. Putting in the team effort that the guys put in; we got to rest some guys and guys got to stretch their legs a little bit tonight also. These trips are good. Whenever you come up with a victory down here, you've got the team bonding where you're in the hotel all day long just playing cards and biding your time. So there's a lot more that goes into these trips than just the game itself. To come out with a victory I think will help us down the line."

On Mario Martinez: "I think obviously there's going to be an adjustment period with anybody, no matter what their quality is. He's a high-quality player. He's going to come in and play a special role for us, so everybody's got to get used to him. We've maybe had two weeks of training with him. For us it's going to take time. For him it's going to take time, but you can see he's a player who wants to play 1-2 touch; you're on the right team if you want to play with the ball on the ground. He's going to fit in well and I thought he did well tonight. He's creative. I think he's going to push forward for us and create some dangerous crosses, so credit to him being in front of the hometown and getting the win."

On his goal: "I don't know if it was a corner kick that was knocked out or a free kick, so guys were kind of scrambling into position and they were kind of offset. The ball comes out to Serva, Serva finds Ozzie, and I find myself with a little bit of space and rise above my defender and put the header away. It's all about finishing our chances. We had a couple chances where we could've gone up 3-2, 4-2. It's something we build off, too. For us, good confidence moving forward and just a good result."

Sammy Ochoa

On the win: "It was a good result for us. The team played good; we got two penalties called in the box, but we kept playing, kept to the game plan, and we got the win."

On scoring early: "We talked about it. If we had a goal early, it's going to bring them down because they're going to come out strong the first 20 minutes. I got a good cross from Mario. He gave me one last game against Caledonia but I didn't put it away. He told me on the next pass he gave me I better put it away. Luckily, I put it in and we went up 1-0."

On Mario Martinez' play: "He's a good player. He's good on the ball; he likes to touch the ball a lot, get one-twos. His free kicks are good, his crossing is good -- he's a good addition to the team. He's a little different than the players we have, and he's going to come on good."

On his success in CCL play: "I'm just there at the right time, taking my chances and making them count. If it's this tournament where I'm getting the playing time, I'm going to take advantage of it."