SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders got a run for their money from Chivas USA on Saturday afternoon at CenturyLink Field. But Seattle ultimately survived, overcoming two early first-half deficits to pull out a 4-2 victory over the last place team in the Western Conference.
Forward Obafemi Martins tallied two more goals for the Sounders, while Clint Dempsey and Lamar Neagle added one apiece for the home side, in a game that was much more competitive than many may have expected. The contest was wild from the outset, with the teams combining to go back-and-forth for three goals before the 20-minute mark.
For a fifth straight game, Seattle found itself needing to overcome a first-half deficit after forward Erick Torres put Chivas ahead 1-0 just 12 minutes into the contest. Torres slotted home an easy conversion after the ball popped free directly in front of the Seattle goal following a deflection off Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
But the Sounders equalized almost immediately, pulling even in the 14th minute courtesy of a long-distance rocket from Martins. The Nigerian forward took a shot from well outside the penalty box, and it zipped by Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.
The goal seemingly swung the momentum back in Seattle’s favor, but Chivas USA took the lead once again just four minutes after following an own goal that deflected off Seattle defender Jalil Anibaba.
Seattle, however, pulled the game back to level terms once again in the 37th minute. Neagle converted a one-on-one opportunity with Kennedy after a pass from Martins bounced directly to him despite being deflected by Goats defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado.
Dempsey then gave Seattle the lead in first-half stoppage time, combining with Martins to finish past Kennedy on a nifty sequence of combination play from the star forwards. Despite the early deficit, the Sounders escaped the opening half with a 3-2 lead.
Seattle added insurance early in the second half after Martins put home his second goal of the day, somehow managing to clip the ball through a crowd and past Kennedy for the match's final score.
With the win, Seattle moved to 18-9-3 on the season and push their overall point total to an MLS-leading 57. Chivas USA fell to 6-19-6 and, with the loss, are now officially eliminated from playoff contention.
MLSsoccer.com Men of the Match
|Rank||Player||What We Saw|
|1||Obafemi Martins||Another dazzling performance that helped strengthen his case for league MVP, scoring two goals and assisting on another. His first take was spectacular.|
|2||Lamar Neagle||Scored a goal and had an assist to help the Sounders put away a feisty Chivas USA squad that did its best to try and pull off an upset.|
|3||Clint Dempsey||Another active threat in the attack, Dempsey combined well with Martins and scored a neat winner just before halftime to suck the sails out of the Goats.|