Sounders FC used almost every available minute tonight before earning its passage through to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals next spring.
The Sounders punched their ticket with a 2-2 draw at Comunicaciones. Both Seattle goals came from midfielder Osvaldo Alonso – the second coming in the 89th minute.
“I’m very happy,” Alonso said. “I’m very proud of myself. We get a result tonight. We get to advance to the next round, which is good for the team.”
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The tying sequence came as Lamar Neagle sent a pass forward to Sammy Ochoa, who sent it to Fredy Montero in front of the goal. Montero went to the turf, and knocked the ball back to Alonso, who fired it into the back of the net.
The result moves the Sounders to 3-1-1 and assures that they will be one of the two teams to go through to the knockout stage. Seattle will go through as the group champion with either a win or a draw in their group stage finale against Monterrey (3-2) Oct. 18 at CenturyLink Field.
Seattle came from behind twice to get the result as rain pelted down at Estadio Cementos Progreso.
The home side jumped ahead in the seventh minute, when Transito Montepeque streaked behind the Seattle defense and then lifted the ball over charging goalkeeper Kasey Keller. The ball kissed the underside of the crossbar and went in.
Alonso equalized in the 44th minute. That play began with a long throw into the box by Zach Scott. The throw bounced and then a clearance attempt went to Alonso, whose shot deflected off a defender but continued into the goal.
The Creams pulled ahead again in the 63rd minute as Keller went out to grab a corner kick, but he misplayed the ball down to Rafael Morales, who knocked it into the open net.
Comunicaciones’ lead held until less than two minutes from the end of regulation, when Alonso provided his final heroics.
Wedneday, the Sounders will travel directly from Guatemala to New England, where they will resume MLS play Saturday against the Revolution.
I'll have more quotes in some new posts above. Here are the unofficial stats:
Scoring Summary:COM - Transito Montepeque (Carlos Mejia) 7'SEA - Osvaldo Alonso 44'COM - Rafael Morales 64'SEA - Osvaldo Alonso 89' CSD Comunicaciones - Juan Paredes, Rafael Morales, Erwin Morales, Carlos Mejia, Dagoberto Arriola, Edgar Martinez, Bryan Ordonez (Abner Trigueros 77'), Carlos Ramirez, Fredy Thompson, Rigoberto Gomez (Jose Del Aguila 45'), Transito Montepeque (Marvin Ceballos 58').
Substitutes Not Used: Elias Vasquez, Marco Ciani, David Guerra, Hernan Sandoval.
TOTAL SHOTS: 14 (Arriola, 4); SHOTS ON GOAL: 3 (3 players, 1); FOULS: 11 (2 players, 3); OFFSIDES: 9 (Montepeque, 4); CORNER KICKS: 2 (2 players, 1); SAVES: 3 (Paredes, 3)
Seattle Sounders FC - Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Jeff Parke, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Tyson Wahl, Alvaro Fernandez, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 74'), Lamar Neagle (Nate Jaqua 92+), Mike Fucito (Sammy Ochoa 66'), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: David Estrada, Taylor Graham, Josh Ford, Amadou Sanyang.
TOTAL SHOTS: 26 (Montero, 10); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Alonso, 2); FOULS: 11 (Friberg, 3); OFFSIDES: 3 (Fucito, 2); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Fucito, 2); SAVES: 1 (Keller, 1) Misconduct Summary:COM - Erwin Morales (caution; Reckless Tackle) 75'SEA - Jhon Kennedy Hurtado (caution; Foul) 87' Referee: Roberto GarciaReferee's Assistants: Alejandro Ayala; Victor Calderon4th Official: Jorge GassoTime of Game: 1:50Weather: Chance of showers/thunderstorm
88th minute: Alonso goal again, after nice passing from Neagle to Ochoa to Montero. Even at 2.
63rd minute: GOAL Comunicaciones. Kasey Keller goes out to grab a corner kick, but gets tied up in traffic and misplays ball. Creams sweep it back into open net. Comunicaciones, 2-1.
Second half: ... has begun. No Sounders changes. One for Creams: Gomez out, Del Aguila in.
The rain seems to have gotten harder. Way harder.
Halftime: Even, 1-1.
Unofficially, Seattle leads in shots, 7-5, and corners, 2-1. Creams have four saves to Seattle's two. No cards shown.
44th minute: GOAL Seattle. Zach Scott long throw in, ball bounces in the box, Creams defender tries to clear, but it goes to Osvaldo Alonso about a yard inside the top of the penalty area, and he fires in from there. 1-1.
First 30 minutes: Sounders getting some chances on offense, but they're allowing far too many chances on defense. Back line highly unorganized so far.
Elsewhere: Monterrey goes ahead in the 30th minute as De Nigris left open for the header and makes Herediano pay.
Seventh minute: GOAL Comunicicaciones, as Creams get behind Seattle defense and Transito Montepeque lifts a shot over the charging Kasey Keller, who got about 12 yards off his line before trying to double back. Shot hits the bottom of the crossbar and continues in. Creams, 1-0.
Seattle had similar trouble keeping its back line together early in Vancouver.
First five minutes: Both teams seem interesting in going forward. A couple of interesting chances already for Seattle.
Kickoff: The game has begun, Sounders in shale/shale; the Creams in white/white. It seems to be a rainy night in Guatemala City.
Elsewhere: Toronto and Pumas draw, 1-1, in Canada. Sounders-at-Comunicaciones up next.
Lineup: Here's what the Sounders have released: GK Keller; D Scott, Parke, Hurtado, Wahl; M Fernandez, Alonso, Friberg, Neagle; F Montero, Fucito. Reserves: Ford, Graham, Estrada, Sanyang, Carrasco, Jaqua, Ochoa.
And for Comunicaciones: GK Paredes, Arriola, Martinez, Morales, Mejia, Ramirez, Morales, Thompson, Gomez.
Pregame: It's Sounders at Comunicaciones at 7 p.m. on Fox Soccer. With a win or a draw the Sounders advance to the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals for the first time. With a loss, things get very very interesting for the Oct. 18 group stage finale against Monterrey. (You can keep up with tonight's Herediano-Monterrey game here.)
We'll keep this post open all evening for pregame, in-game, and postgame reports and your comments. And we'll also have in-game updates on Twitter.