The result also sends Saprissa through to the knockout round, as the Purple Monster finished second in the group behind Monterrey.
Saprissa came in knowing that it could assure its advancement to the knockout round with a victory. Meanwhile, Seattle knew it had no chance of moving on, regardless of result.
Despite that, Seattle started strong and went ahead in the 17th minute after Saprissa defenders couldn’t control a ball played into the top of their penalty area. Finally, Nate Jaqua got to it and finished, with an assist credited to Alvaro Fernandez.
However, another defensive mistake drew the Purple Monster even in the 26th minute as Seattle’s Zach Scott tried to shield a ball rolling near the top of the penalty area until goalkeeper Kasey Keller could come out and scoop it. However, the play took too long and got past Keller, where Saprissa's Jairo Arrieta tapped it into the open net.
The score stayed unchanged until the 87th minute, when a shot by David Guzman sizzled through Keller’s hands, kissed off the near post and trickled across the goal line.
Keller likely would have been on the bench for this game except for the unavailability of No. 2 keeper Terry Boss, due to injury.
Afterwards, Keller sent word to the media that he wouldn't be talking.
The game was played before a crowd of 11,434, the smallest ever to watch the Sounders at Qwest Field.
With non-MLS competition behind them for the remainder of the season, the Sounders will return Wednesday to training for their regular-season-ender Saturday at Houston.
SEA -- Nate Jaqua (Alvaro Fernandez) 17
SAP -- Jairo Arrieta (unassisted) 26
SAP -- Josue Martinez (Walter Centeno) 87
Saprissa -- Minor Alvarez, Gabriel Badilla, Jose Mena, Alexander Robinson, Ricardo Blanco, Walter Centeno, David Guzman, Mauricio Castillo (Alonso Solis 69), Javier Loaiza (Luis Cordero 72), Jairo Arrieta, Alejandro Sequeira (Josue Martinez 56).
Substitutes Not Used: Fausto Gonzalez, Yader Balladares, Douglas Sequeira, Armando Alonso.
TOTAL SHOTS: 9 (3 tied with 2); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Jairo Arrieta 2); FOULS: 17 (Gabriel Badilla 5); OFFSIDES: 10 (Jairo Arrieta 7); CORNER KICKS: 3 (Walter Centeno 3); SAVES: 4 (Minor Alvarez 4)
Seattle Sounders FC -- Kasey Keller, Zach Scott, Tyrone Marshall, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Alvaro Fernandez, Mike Seamon, Peter Vagenas (Miguel Montano 62), Roger Levesque (David Estrada 76), Nate Jaqua (Sanna Nyassi 84), Mike Fucito.
Substitutes Not Used: Leo Gonzalez, Jeff Parke, Nathan Sturgis, Terry Boss.
TOTAL SHOTS: 12 (Mike Fucito 3); SHOTS ON GOAL: 5 (Nate Jaqua 2); FOULS: 20 (Alvaro Fernandez 6); OFFSIDES: 1 (Tyson Wahl 1); CORNER KICKS: 4 (Mike Fucito 2); SAVES: 3 (Kasey Keller 3)
SAP -- Jose Mena (caution; Reckless Tackle) 33
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (caution; Reckless Foul) 48
SAP -- Gabriel Badilla (caution; Unsporting Behavior) 52
SAP -- Alexander Robinson (caution; Tactical Foul) 63
SEA -- Miguel Montano (caution; Simulation) 70
SEA -- Nate Jaqua (caution; Dissent) 80
SAP -- Alexander Robinson (caution; Dissent) 90
SAP -- Alexander Robinson (ejection; Second Caution) 90
SAP -- Ricardo Blanco (caution; Delaying a Restart) 93+
Referee: Neal Brizan
Referee's Assistants: -Dion Neil; Ainsley Rochard
4th Official: Jair Marrufo
Time of Game: 1:52
I'll add some postgame quotes in a new post above.87th minute:
Another defensive mistake may have just cost Seattle the draw. This time a hard David Guzman shot when off Kasey Keller's hands, tapped the near post and ended up across the goal line, giving Saprissa a 2-1 lead in the closing minutes.
84th minute: Nyassi in, Jaqua out.
76th minute: Estrada in, Levesque out. And Estrada gets involved almost instantly, sending a header just wide of the right post.
Attendance: 11,434... down a bit from the 11,768 that showed up for Marathon and therefore the smallest ever to see the Sounders at Qwest Field. (But still way above average for CONCACAF Champions League.)
Second half: ... has begun.
Halftime: Sounders 1, Saprissa 1. Both goals mostly came off of defensive mistakes.
Six shots for Seattle, four for Saprissa. Three on goal for each team. Eight fouls by Seattle, six on Saprissa. Two corners each.
26th minute: A Sounders defensive blunder brings Saprissa back even, 1-1. Zach Scott tried to shield Saprissa from a ball near the top of the penalty area, waiting for Kasey Keller to come out and scoop it. However, the play took too long and got past Keller, where Saprissa's Jairo Arrieta tapped it into the open net.
17th minute: Sounders go ahead 1-0, as Nate Jaqua finishes a ball that had bounced around in the area off of Saprissa defenders. Assist to Alvaro Fernandez.
First 15 minutes: Though Saprissa has more to play for tonight, the Sounders are controlling the early action. They seem engaged, and are playing a nice match so far.
Boss injured: We are now told that reserve keeper Terry Boss is out with a hip flexor, which explains Kasey Keller's start tonight.
Kickoff: The game is under way, before an exceptionally small Qwest crowd.
Saprissa in purple/purple; Sounders in electricity yellow/yellow ... probably for the last time this season.
Lineups: Interesting lineup for the Sounders, most of all for Kasey Keller and not Terry Boss in goal. Also, one day after coach Sigi Schmid promised Fredy Montero would get some minutes, Montero isn't listed among either starters or reserves.
Sounders: GK Keller; D Scott, Marshall, Graham, Wahl; M Fernandez, Seamon, Vagenas, Levesque; F Jaqua, Fucito. Reserves: Boss, Estrada, Gonzalez, Montano, Nyassi, Parke, Sturgis.
Saprissa: GK Alvarez; D Badilla, Mena, Robinson; M Blanco, Centeno, Guzman, Castillo, Loaiza; F Arrieta, Sequeira. Reserves: Gonzalez, Balladares, Sequeira, Cordero, Martinez, Alonso, Solis.[caption id="attachment_11951" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="Small crowd of south-end supporters just before kickoff."] [/caption]Pregame: Very small crowd here 30 minutes before kickoff, although a crowd of 10,000 or so is expected to eventually file in for Seattle's final game of CONCACAF Champions League group play: vs. Saprissa, 7 p.m., Qwest Field.
There's no live TV, but there's a webcast on the Champions League site (link at left), and then a replay on FSC at 1 a.m.
We'll keep this post open all evening for pregame, in-game and postgame updates.