The Seattle Sounders Travel to Mexico City to face Pumas Onam in the first leg of CONCACAF Champions League They returned home with a dramatic tie. After losing 2–0, the Sounders took two second-half penalties to strike back at the home side and tied the match, 2–2. These two penalties, one of which is in deep hiatus and requires the VAR to be consulted, felt like little more than poetic justice. Pumas opened the scoring with a smooth penalty – albeit one unlikely to change under review no matter how it was called on the pitch – in the 38th minute. Both teams had chances throughout the first half, but the best of them fell to Pumas, which required two saves. Adorable from Stefan Fry. One of those saves came on the penalty kick, but Frei was judged to have slipped out of his streak early and the recovery that followed was scored.
Pumas doubled his lead early in the second half, when a series of defensive blunders left a cross wide open to serve up the ball. Yemar jumped but got it wrong, and Juan Dinino rose and headed the ball into the net to secure his double. Seattle kept pushing, but seemed particularly likely to regret the missed opportunity just after Pumas’ second goal when Raul Ruídias had a look from right in front of the goal but his shot was straight at a defender on the line. It doesn’t matter, in the 73rd minute Ruídias forced his defender into a handball and Nico Lodeiro stepped up to a penalty kick. After some antics from the opposing goalkeeper, Lodeiro hit the penalty kick into the side net, and beat the goalkeeper even though he got it. In injury time, Christian Roldan was kicked in the penalty area and the referee looked at the video and called a second PK for the Sounders. Lodeiro went up to this as well and left no doubt about it when he hit the ball over GK as the match crossed 6 minutes of injury time.
A full 10 minutes after the end of normal time, the referee blew his whistle to end the first leg and return the two teams to the Seattle level 2-2. Some heated exchanges broke out between the players after the full-time whistle, as the main focus seemed to be a continuation of the words shared between Lodeiro and Pumas’ goalkeeper during and after the two penalties.
Obviously, these two have a lot more in store for next week’s release. The Sounders have a week to rest and get ready before hosting Pumas at Lumen Field, with a chance to lift the CCL Cup before all of us.
11′- Pumas get close to the Sounders, but Yeimar is ahead in time and tackles the ball away before any real danger develops.
16′- The Sounders hold the ball up front for a while of pressure, but it ends when Jordan Morris hits the ball on the right and unleashes the balls that shoot off.
26′- Xavier Arreaga steps up to challenge the dodger but misses, resulting in a shot that Stefan Frye leaves no doubt as he dives in and swerves away from a corner kick.
35′- After a bad penalty, Stefan Frey saves the shot but gets out of his streak early. Juan Dinino scored from a restored penalty. 1-0 Pumas
40′- On the other hand, Alex Roldan hit a free kick on the edge of the penalty area for a handball, and Nico Lodeiro’s shot saved well.
45′ + 5 – The Sons are able to re-possession, and Lodeiro sends a cross to the back post. Raul Ruídias returns the ball to Joao Paulo, whose shot is over the crossbar.
48′- Dennino doubles the lead with a powerful header. A left-sided cross is sent to the Sounders without pressure, and the finish is solid. 2-0
50′- The Sounders almost immediately responded, as Jordan Morris’ header flew away. Seconds later, Ruidiaz glanced at the goal but his shot topped off a corner kick.
73′- Ruediaz pays a penalty kick on a handball. After a bit of VAR tech, Lodeiro steps into the spot. The goalkeeper holds his hands, but Lodeiro outperforms him! 2-1
90′ + 7 – Christian Roldan is kicked in the penalty area by a defender, giving Lodeiro a second chance from the penalty mark. Lodeiro hits her in the net! hooks tied it! 2-2
CONCACAF branded meat grinder: Like Black and Red United Created by Jason Anderson“The CONCACAF Champions League is a machine designed to stir up outrage.” It irritates him. CCL, as most federation competitions tend, is the meat grinder that breaks you physically, mentally and emotionally in any way you can imagine. Opponents, environments, and officials crush and tear you apart until all that is left is a ragged pile of what was once a soccer team, but the Sounders have proven as capable of being a part of this machine as any team in the area. Against the Pumas, just like any other team they’ve met so far at CCL, they were often the team that caused outrage.
Magical moments: More than a few Sounders looked like they were about to end as the game hit the hour mark. Nico Lodeiro has been making bad touches and struggling to do the kinds of things that often make it seem easy like breathing. Player after player fails to show his quality in the most important moments. Then Raul Ruídias, whose shot in the penalty area was Seattle’s best chance to date, scored a penalty and Lodeiro did the same thing he used to do with a penalty kick. Then do it again! Even when things are not going well, or the players are not at their best, this team and these players can still enjoy these magical moments, and they will need more if they are to lift the CCL Trophy at Lumen Field next week.
Snapshot in history: I’ve heard it before. Whether you’re Garth Lageroy, me, Jeremiah Auchan, Dave Clark, or anyone else from this site or the national football media, you’ve heard this is our chance to date. A chance to put the Seattle Freaking Sounders in the record books. To become the first MLS team to win the CONCACAF Champions League. That’s right, we are one step closer. There are still 90 – or 100, as this game showed – minutes left to play. Or maybe 120, or penalty kicks, I can’t predict the future. But they will be played at home. Seattle took care of business in the first leg, coming back from 2-0 down to settle the game and make the task simple next Wednesday: win, and become immortal. The Sounders – us – just need to win, live forever in history and score books as first. Making history is a Seattle Sounders habit. Whether it is the youth or the first team, it is in their blood. So let’s go make more history.
Miss a penalty? Nico Lodeiro would never do that.
Schmitz: “The team that surrounded their captain at the end was positive for me, because I know what was going on. I know what they were trying to do for Nico and we had to stay calm, we had to think about the game”
– Charles Boehm (@cboehm) April 28, 2022
56.6% – The Sounders win 56.6% of duels against Pumas.
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