SEATTLE – The Seattle Sounders needed a win and nothing less in Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League match-up with the Vancouver Whitecaps in order to advance out of Group F and into the quarterfinals.
They got one in resounding fashion, cruising to a 3-0 blowout of Vancouver at CenturyLink Field. It was the second 3-0 victory for Seattle in four days over the Whitecaps after the Sounders clinched the Cascadia Cup by the same scoreline at BC Place on Saturday.
Lamar Neagle scored twice, with Nelson Valdez grabbing the other and Chad Barrett adding two assists to pace the home side.
Seattle had a great look at a first-half go-ahead tally in the 18th minute, after Leo Gonzalez found Barrett with a cross right in front of Vancouver ‘keeper Paolo Tornaghi. But Barrett couldn’t get much on his headed attempt and ended up hitting the shot right at Tornaghi, allowing the Whitecaps to avoid the threat.
Barrett would make amends quickly, however, as the Sounders nabbed a 1-0 lead in the 32nd minute after he found a streaking Neagle in front of the Vancouver goal. Neagle niftily redirected the cross past Tornaghi and into the net to give the hosts the early advantage.
The Sounders then doubled the lead shortly after in the 39th minute when midfielder Marco Pappa lofted a free kick into the Vancouver penalty box that was headed in, with Barrett and Valdez converging on the ball and the latter receiving credit for the final touch.
Seattle effectively sealed the result just after second half kickoff, with the Neagle and Barrett combination providing the fireworks once again on a 47th-minute counterattack. The chance was created after Barrett took a feed from Valdez and found a wide-open Neagle in between Vancouver defenders. Neagle calmly slotted the breakaway attempt past Tornaghi, giving Seattle the 3-0 lead that would hold as the final score.
With the victory, the Sounders advance to the CCL quarterfinals after winning Group F with a total of seven points. Despite being eliminated, Vancouver must still travel to Tegucigalpa, Honduras to take on Club Olimpia on Oct. 22 in the group stage finale.