Arrow-right Camera

Sports

Sounders stun Mexico’s Tigres

Wed., March 13, 2013, midnight

Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson, left, lines up with Tigres goalkeeper Jorge Dias de Leon just before scoring the winning goal in the second half on Tuesday. (Associated Press)
Seattle Sounders’ Eddie Johnson, left, lines up with Tigres goalkeeper Jorge Dias de Leon just before scoring the winning goal in the second half on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Win two-game series by 3-2 aggregate

SEATTLE – Sounders FC made MLS history Tuesday, and made it look good.

Defenders DeAndre Yedlin and Djimi Traore scored a pair of world-class goals on long-range strikes, and forward Eddie Johnson later added a series winner as Seattle completed a comeback for the ages in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against Mexico’s Tigres UANL.

The Sounders won the two-game series by a 3-2 aggregate score following the 3-1 win in front of 20,520 at CenturyLink Field and, in the process, became the first MLS team to eliminate a Mexican opponent in the knockout rounds of the CCL since the regional tournament changed formats in 2008-09.

Only one MLS team has ever advanced to the tournament final: Real Salt Lake two years ago.

Seattle will face the winner of a series between the Houston Dynamo and Mexico’s Santos Laguna for a chance to become the second. The CCL semifinals will be played April 2-4 (first leg) and 9-11 (second leg).

The Sounders’ comeback was aided just before halftime when Tigres midfielder Manuel Viniegra was ejected upon receiving a second yellow card in the game.

Seattle, trailing 2-0 in the series, quickly took advantage, though the first goal came from an unlikely source: Yedlin, a 19-year-old rookie. The local product scored on a scorching volley from about 30 yards away, which benefited from a slight deflection as it sailed past goalkeeper Jorge Diaz de Leon.

The highlight-reel strike ended the Sounders’ 252-minute scoreless streak to start the year.

Perhaps an even better goal was coming.

That came from Traore, a veteran newcomer who sent the social-media world aflutter with an amazing left-footed blast from about 35 yards away.

Traore was also a part of a memorable comeback with Liverpool in 2005, when the English club scored three second-half goals to beat Italy’s AC Milan in the Champions League final.

The comeback was completed in the 75th minute, when Eddie Johnson somehow managed to sneak a shot past Diaz de Leon from the tightest of angles, which sent the crowd into frenzy.

Tigres nearly spoiled the party in stoppage time, but forward Alan Pulido pulled a shot wide.

The Mexican league leaders played only two of the same starters from last week’s 1-0 win.


 

Click here to comment on this story »