Chivas Guadalajara came out on the front foot in Wednesday nights Leg-1 of the CONCACAF quarterfinal round against Seattle Sounders FC. Excuse the Liga MX giant for feeling at home to start the match. Chivas had a large contingent of fans who were ready to see their side upset the Sounders who started their MLS campaign Sunday afternoon with a disappointing 1-0 loss to expansion side LAFC.
In Sunday’s loss to LAFC, the Sounders were lethargic and heavy footed to start the game. On Wednesday night the Rave Green continued its habit of starting slow.While the Sounders had the first shot on goal, it Chivas that looked like the more dangerous side with intricate midfield passes that forced several Stefa Frei saves and notably the save of the game in the 32nd minute to keep the score at 0-0.
The Sounders had two decent looks at the Chivas goal, a Clint Dempsey shot in the 26th minute and a Will Bruin shot just before the half. Both shots went begging the two side went into the break deadlocked at 0-0.
The Sounders flipped the script in the second half firing off twelve shots to Chivas nine. Ten of Seattle’s twelve shots were from inside the box. Dempsey had a decent look at goal one minute into the second half, as did Roman Torres, forty seconds later. When Bruin’s header dinged off the woodwork one minute later, many in the crow were beginning to wonder if this would be a repeat of what happened Sunday afternoon against LAFC. In that game, the Sounders dominated the second half but were never able to put the ball in the back of the net.
On Wednesday night the Sounders continued to attack the Chivas goal by pushing the ball down the flanks then bringing back into the Chivas goal with zipping ground balls into the goalmouth.
Handwalla Bwana and Trey Wingo were able to use their speed down the flanks and cross the ball back to the middle to Dempsey and Nicolas Lodeiro who had good looks at goal but were unable to get on the scoreboard until the 77th minute when a Wingo slide rule pass found Dempsey for the games only goal in the 77th minute.
The Sounders had several other attempts to widen the lead but those shots like the ones in the first half went begging and the Sounders settle for the 1-0 victory.
- Wednesday nights win moves Seattle to 16-14-5 all-time in Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League play, with the Rave Green maintaining a 12-5-1 home record in that span.
- 42,885 were on-hand at CenturyLink Field Wednesday night, the largest crowd ever for Sounders FC in Champions League play at home, surpassing the previous mark of 42,836 against Club América on February 23, 2016.
- Next Wednesday’s second leg is the seventh time Sounders FC has traveled to face a Liga MX team in Mexico, with the club accumulating a 1-4-1 record to date.
- Clint Dempsey scored his third career SCCL goal for Sounders FC in the 78th minute in just four games. Dempsey has one goal and two assists in two appearances in the 2018 tournament.
- With the assist on Dempsey’s goal, Henry Wingo recorded his first SCCL assist in his third appearance.
- Stefan Frei made four saves and recorded his second consecutive shutout in SCCL play, giving him three clean-sheets in six career Champions League appearances with Seattle.
- Midfielder Handwalla Bwana made his first competitive start for Sounders FC after making his professional debut as a substitute in Sunday’s loss to Los Angeles FC, where the Homegrown Player logged 26 minutes of action.
- Wednesday’s fixture marked Seattle’s third match in seven days across all competitions, following last Thursday’s 4-0 SCCL win over Santa Tecla and Sunday’s 1-0 loss to LAFC in the MLS opener.
- The Chivas series is Seattle’s fifth test against Mexican opposition, having previously played Monterrey in 2010 and 2011, Santos Laguna in 2012 and 2013, in addition to Club América in 2016. While Sounders FC played Chivas in a friendly match in 2010, the two sides had not met previously in competitive play prior to tonight.
- Wednesday’s match put Seattle into the Quarterfinal Round of North America’s premier club soccer competition for the fourth time in club history, having only advanced to the Semifinal Round of Champions League play once before in the 2012-2013 campaign.
- Should Seattle advance from this round of the competition, the Rave Green are set to face the winner of the New York Red Bulls and Club Tijuana Quarterfinal Round series.
C.D. Guadalajara – Rodolfo Cota; Carlos Cisneros, Carlos Salcido, Oswaldo Alanis, Alejandro Mayorga; Javier Lopez (Gael Sandoval 67′), Michael Perez (Jose Macias), Isaac Brizuela (Rodolfo Pizarro 56′), Orbelin Pineda; Jose de Jesus Godinez, Alan Pulido
Substitutes not used: Jose Rodriguez, Edwin Hernandez, Juan Basulto, Oscar Macias