For the first time in nine years, Seattle Sounders FC are through to the Concacaf Champions League semifinals, punching their ticket with a 1-1 draw in the second leg of their quarterfinal series against Liga MX side Club León at Estadio León on Thursday evening.

The result delivered the Sounders a 4-1 win on aggregate following their 3-0 victory at Lumen Field in Leg 1, with Seattle's lone goal of Leg 2 coming from the penalty spot via Fredy Montero in first-half stoppage time.

After absorbing waves of pressure throughout the first half, Seattle struck for the back-breaking goal just seconds before the halftime whistle, when João Paulo was brought down in the León area, drawing a penalty-kick whistle from Jose Raul Torres. That set the stage for another clinical spot-kick finish from Montero, who sent León goalkeeper Rodolfo Cota the wrong way and cashed it home to the top corner for his third goal of the series.

Seattle nearly saw out the clean sheet, only for Club León to spoil that in the 91st minute with a headed finish from Fidel Ambríz that wound up as nothing more than a consolation tally.

Goals

  • 45'+3' - SEA - Fredy Montero (PK) | WATCH
  • 90'+1' - LEÓ - Fidel Ambríz | WATCH

Three Things

  • THE BIG PICTURE: With the hosts in desperation mode, dominating possession and throwing numbers forward from the opening whistle, it was a mammoth defensive effort from the Sounders on the road to finish off this series. It sets up an all-MLS semifinal on their side of the bracket, with a matchup against defending MLS Cup champion New York City FC next on the docket, as both clubs chase a shot at making history.
  • MOMENT OF THE MATCH: Club León still had hope until Montero's first-half strike from the spot, which gave Seattle the road goals tiebreaker and effectively ended whatever chance the hosts had of mounting a comeback.
  • MAN OF THE MATCH: Rookie center back Jackson Ragen was thrust into starting duty with Yeimar Gomez Andrade out with an ankle sprain and proved more than up to the task. The former University of Michigan star was everywhere in this contest, getting into challenges, cutting out crosses and crushing headers.

Next Up

  • LEÓ: Sunday, March 20 at Mazatlán | 11 pm ET | Liga MX Clausura
  • SEA: Sunday, March 20 at Austin FC | 4:30 pm ET (FS1, FOX Deportes) | MLS regular season