Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey scored two goals but the Dempsey double was not enough as the Seattle Sounders and Club America played to a 2-2 tie in the first leg of the Scotia Bank Champions League quarterfinals match at Century Link Field Tuesday night.
If there was ever a doubt about the strategy that was going to be played by Seattle and Club America that hand was played in the first two minutes when Osvaldo Alonso struck a left footed shot that just missed the back of the Club America net. Message was clear, we are going to attack at all costs .
Seattle continued to push forward as rookie forward Jordan Morris header in the 12th minute pushed aside by Club America keeper Hugo Gonzalez. Seattle continued to push forward but was unable to break the stout Club America back line.
Club America got into the act and had their best chance in the 26th minute mark when Ruben Sambueza left footed shot hit the bar and somehow stayed out. Club America continued to push forward but each time they did so, the Seattle back line of Tyrone Mears, Brad Evans Chad Marshall and Joevin Jones where up to the task.
Seattle broke the scoreless deadlock when Clint Dempsey right footed a free kick into the right corner for the 1-0 lead after wining a free kick. Carlos Quintero leveled the score two minutes later with a right footed shot at the 45th minute mark and the two sides went into the break tied at 1-1.
” When you take a 1-0 lead just before halftime you go into the locker room up 1-0,” a disappointed Sounder head coach Sigi Schmid said after the game.” We were too aggressive and we should have stayed back at that point in the game”.
Despite the first half set back, Seattle continued to attack after the restart and Clint Dempsey answered the call once again when he headed a corner kick by Andreas Ivanschitz into the back of the net for the 2-1 lead seven minutes into the second half. As had been the case all game, Club America took the goal as a punch to the mouth and went on the attack searching for the equalizer.
The Mexican Clubs persistence paid off in the 70th minute when Oribe Peralta right footed a shot that beat Seattle keeper Stefan Frei for the equalizer. The two sides spent the last twenty minutes of the game trading shots which made for an entertaining match for the 42, 836 fans in attendance , but in the end no one was able to get the upper hand.
” Obviously there are things that we need to get better at as we move forward and we will, for this stage of our season and given where they are at in their season and where we are at, I thought we played well and I am proud of what our guys did,” Schmid said after the game.
The two teams will finish the two game series on March 2nd at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City. Seattle will start it’s MLS season on March 6th when it hosts Sporting KC.