It was a night for the history books, as they say. No MLS team had ever eliminated a Mexican team from the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Champions League. Well, not until Tuesday night in Seattle.
The first half was tough for the Sounders. They already came into the match down a goal on aggregate after the first leg was played in Mexico last week. Then in the 23rd minute, Tigres added one more. This meant the Sounders had to score three goals, as the away goal would break a tie in Tigres’ favor.
I’m not sure what Sigi Schmid told the team during halftime, but they came out attacking. In the 53rd minute, the 19 year old homegrown player, DeAndre Yedlin belted in a volley to get the Sounders on the scoreboard. Seven minutes later, newly signed Djimi Traore – Liverpool veteran and squad member of possibly the biggest comeback in all of soccer history, the 2005 UEFA Champions League Final – blasted in another shot from distance to bring the home team to within one.
Then, with just 15 minutes left in the match, Eddie Johnson, from an impossibly tight angle, slotted in the winning goal past the Tigres ‘keeper.
I think that’s the loudest noise I’ve ever heard from 20,520 people. (Actually, even fewer, since there were many Tigres supporters on hand.) Tigres pushed hard, but the defense held.
Next up is the winner of the Houston-Santos Laguna match. But until then, here are my photos from this historic evening.