Sounders hit road with tough task ahead

With road goals the tiebreaker, Seattle heads to Mexico, needs to make up a goal against Santos to win semifinal series

don.ruiz@thenewstribune.comApril 3, 2013 

SEATTLE — A second-half goal by Herculez Gomez gave Santos Laguna a 1-0 win over Sounders FC on Tuesday at CenturyLink Field and a commanding position in their CONCACAF Champions League semifinal series.

The result means the Sounders will have to make up a goal when the series resolves this Tuesday in Torreon, Mexico. Road goals serve as the first tiebreaker.

Seattle had to cobble together a lineup without forwards Eddie Johnson (toe), Obafemi Martins (leg) and David Estrada (eye) up front, and without goalkeeper Michael Gspurning (yellow card accumulation) in back.

Coach Sigi Schmid adapted by going with a 4-5-1 formation with Sammy Ochoa as the lone forward and Shalrie Joseph making his Sounders debut among the thicket of midfielders.

Santos brought along its stars but still started cautiously, seeming to follow the script that says a road draw is a satisfactory result.

However, they became more aggressive as the game progressed.

Santos broke through in the 54th minute, when Carlos Quintero hit a hard shot that Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann was able to block but not control. Gomez was first to the loose ball and scorched what proved to be the winner inside the far post.

The game was played before a crowd of 21,057.

The Sounders will return to training today and will begin their trip to Mexico on Sunday.

The winner of this series will go to the CCL final against the winner of the Los Angeles Galaxy-Monterrey series.

Don Ruiz: 253-597-8808 don.ruiz@thenewstribune.com

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service