SEATTLE — A goal in regulation from Álvaro Fernández and an extra time tally from Nate Jaqua gave Seattle Sounders FC a 2-0 victory over San Francisco FC of Panama. With the win, the Sounders advance to the CONCACAF Champions League group stage on a 2-1 aggregate.
In a match that featured 34 shots by Seattle, los Monjes goalkeeper Miguel Torres turned in an outstanding match for the visitors. The netminder finished with 12 saves in the losing effort.
There was nothing Torres could have done on Jaqua’s point-blank goal in the first period of extra time, which was set up by a great run from Álvaro Fernández. The Uruguayan drove deep into the penalty area before centering the ball to Jaqua, who had plenty of time to settle the ball and blast it into the roof of the net.
WATCH: FULL MATCH HIGHLIGHTS
Earlier in the night, Fernández scored in the 41st minute to force the match into extra time.
Seattle once again demonstrated their desire to advance in this competition by fielding a full-strength team. San Francisco, holding a 1-0 advantage from the first leg, were determined to make that lead stand.
While the Sounders dominated the first half in shots on goal to the tune of 12-4, the Panamanian club did its best to repel the host’s attack. The visitors also attempted to slow the game down and were given the opportunity to do just that by drawing eight Seattle fouls in the first half.
Fernández’ goal in the 41st minute set the stage for an exciting finish and gave los Monjes a pair of options tactically: try to hold out for another 45 minutes and hope for the best in a penalty shootout, or score the all-important away goal to force Seattle to win 3-1.
San Francisco chose the former, conceding possession to the home team, spurred on by the rowdy crowd of 21,223, one of the largest to see a CCL match in any stage.
Seattle Osvaldo Alonso picked up a yellow card in the 60th minute – his second in the series – ruling him out of the team’s first group stage match. The midfielder received one of six yellow cards handed out by Costa Rican match referee Jeffrey Solis in match that grew increasingly contentious.
Seattle certainly claimed their chances in the second half, peppering the San Francisco net but failing to find the second goal.
Seattle’s best chances came late in the match. In the 77th minute, forward Fredy Montero just barely shot wide of the near post on a free kick.
Not long after, Torres came up big to stone Jaqua on a one-on-one, then superbly — or perhaps fortuitously — knocked a Montero follow-up shot away with his foot.
With each agonizing missed chance, overtime seemed more and more likely. When it came, Seattle boasted an absurd 28-5 advantage in shots.
After missing his first one-on-one chance against Torres, Jaqua made sure not to repeat squander his second go at it. With no one to beat but the ‘keeper in the 98th minute, the Sounders striker shot hard and high into the net.
Seattle switched mindsets after the go-ahead tally and defended the lead successfully.
With the 2-1 win on aggregate, the Sounders advanced into the Champions League group stage, where they will share Group D with defending CCL champs Monterrey (MEX), Comunicaciones (GUA), and the winner of Herediano (CRC) and Alpha United (GUY).
SEA -- Alvaro Fernandez (Leo Gonzalez, Fredy Montero) 41
SEA -- Nate Jaqua (Alvaro Fernandez, Mauro Rosales) 98
SFC -- Roberto Brown (caution; Reckless Foul) 46+
SEA -- Osvaldo Alonso (caution; Reckless Foul) 60
SEA -- Mauro Rosales (caution; Handball) 61
SFC -- Johan de Avila (caution; Reckless Tackle) 63
SEA -- Erik Friberg (caution; Dissent) 110
SEA -- Kasey Keller (caution; Dissent) 110
San Francisco FC -- Miguel Torres, Rolando Algadona, Martin Gomez, Felipe Olivardia, Edgardo Panezo (Jefrey Diaz 102), Manuel Torres, Eybir Bonaga, Amir Waite (Freddy Arizala 85), Roberto Chen, Roberto Brown, Johan de Avila.
Substitutes Not Used: Eduardo Jimenez, Jose Pimentel, Pedro Jeanine, Aron Luna, Bryan Santamaria.
Seattle Sounders -- Kasey Keller, James Riley, Jeff Parke, Zach Scott, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales, Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Friberg (Servando Carrasco 112), Alvaro Fernandez (Lamar Neagle 111), Pat Noonan (Nate Jaqua 68), Fredy Montero.
Substitutes Not Used: Mike Fucito, Patrick Ianni, Tyson Wahl, Josh Ford.
Referee: Jeffery Solis
Referee's Assistants:-Octavio Jara; Warner Castro
4th Official: Hugo Cruz
Time of Game: 2:32