The Seattle Sounders and LAFC came to play Tuesday night with the intent of imposing their will on the other. With speed and quickness on both sides of the pitch, Tuesday night’s encounter was a free-flowing game that ended with the defending MLS Champions Sounders advancing. The Sounders will host FC Dallas next Tuesday in the Western Conference Semifinals.
FLAWLESS FIRSTS HALF
The two teams came out of the gate intent on playing to their strengths. Just so happened that when both teams are playing their best soccer it is a pass oriented attacking style with plenty of movement . With both teams playing free flowing soccer there were no yellow cards handed out in the first half and two golden scoring opportunities for both teams.
The Sounders made good on their chance in the 18th minute. Cristian Roldan headed the ball to Raul Ruidiaz who sprinted down the right flank then made a looping ground pass to Nicolas Lodeiro who rifled the ball into the back of the next for the 1-0 lead. LAFC was awarded a penalty three minutes later after Nouhou fouled Carlos Vela in the box. Vela’s meek penalty kick was saved by Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei who watched the ball come too his hands
SECOND HALF HIGH PRESS
LAFC went to a high press to start the second half and the result saw the visitor winning a corner kick, and two free-kicks in the first three minutes into the half. The advantage was for naught as LAFC was unable to produce a goal.
The Sounders were patient against the LAFC’s high press and could have doubled their lead in the 54th minute when Nouhou found a wide-open Morris in front of the LAFC goal. Morris inexplicably missed the sitter from five yards out.
The Sounders horrifying misses continued as Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro each hit the post and one wondered if doubt would creep into the Sounder’s confidence.
RAUL RUIDIAZ DOUBLES LEAD
Sounders stayed determined, confident and the perseverance paid off. Raul Ruidiaz’s right-footed blast in the 66th minute double the Sounders lead. The Sounders regained confidence and swagger minutes was short-lived. The visitors in turn stayed determined, resolute, and continued its high press. The reward for their effort was a Carlos Vela pass to a wide-open Artuesta to cut the Sounders lead to just 2-1 in the 77th minute.
The Sounders continued to match the visitor’s intensity and continued to push the ball up the field. The Rave Green’s reward for its perseverance came in the 80th minute.
Lodeiro found Ruidiaz in the middle of the field who then spotted a streaking Morris towards the LAFC goal. A weighted pass by Ruidiaz sprung Morris who slotted the ball home to give the Sounders the 3-1 lead and propel to the Conference Semifinals.
GAME NOTES AND STATS
Seattle Sounders FC 3 – Los Angeles FC 1
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Venue: Lumen Field
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistants: Mike Rottersman, Jeff Hosking
Fourth Official: Alex Chilowicz
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez
Attendance: Closed Door
Weather: 45 degrees and cloudy
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (Jordan Morris, Raúl Ruidíaz) 18’
SEA – Raúl Ruidíaz 66’
LAFC – Eduard Atuesta (Carlos Vela) 77’
SEA – Jordan Morris (Raúl Ruidíaz, Nicolás Lodeiro) 80’
SEA – Nicolás Lodeiro (caution) 88’
LAFC – Mohamed El-Munir (caution) 90’+2’
LINEUPS & STATS
Seattle Sounders FC – Stefan Frei; Alex Roldan, Yeimar Gómez Andrade, Shane O’Neill, Nouhou (Román Torres 90’+1’); Cristian Roldan, João Paulo, Joevin Jones (Brad Smith 70’), Nicolás Lodeiro, Jordan Morris (Jordy Delem 90’); Raúl Ruidíaz
Substitutes not used: Stefan Cleveland, Miguel Ibarra, Josh Atencio, Ethan Dobbelaere, Will Bruin, Jimmy Medranda
Total shots: 13 (Morris, 4)
Shots on goal: 3 (Three players, 1)
Fouls: 18 (Three players, 3)
Offside: 2 (Morris/Ruidíaz, 1)
Corner-kicks: 4 (Lodeiro, 4)
Saves: 3 (Frei, 3)
Los Angeles FC – Pablo Sisniega; Eddie Segura, Jesus David Murillo, Tristan Blackmon, Jordan Harvey (Mohamed El-Munir 56’); Latif Blessing, Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye; Carlos Vela, Bradley Wright-Phillips (Kwadwo Opoku HT), Christian Torres (Adrien Perez 56’)
Substitutes not used: Kenneth Vermeer, Dejan Jakovic, Antonio Leone, Erik Duenas, Bryce Duke, Francisco Ginella
Total shots: 12 (Vela, 4)
Shots on goal: 4 (Vela, 2)
Fouls: 14 (Kaye, 3)
Offside: 2 (Kaye/Wright-Phillips, 1)
Corner-kicks: 8 (Vela, 6)