It took some time for the Seattle Sounders to find their groove, but the important thing is that they found it. A dominant second half over Santa Tecla in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Round of 16 means the Sounders are onto the quarterfinals after a 4-0 win Thursday, a 5-2 aggregate score.
After a scoreless first half that saw Santa Tecla happy to sit deep and the Sounders struggle to find space behind, it looked like the Sounders could be knocked out due to their first-leg loss. But the Sounders came out of halftime with a formation switch from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-4-2 diamond midfield, where Magnus Wolff Eikrem made his debut, and the Sounders found the keys to unlock Santa Tecla's defense, scoring four unanswered goals from Will Bruin, Nicolas Lodeiro, Chad Marshall and Eikrem.
- 47' - SEA - Will Bruin
- 69' - SEA - Nicolas Lodeiro
- 81' - SEA - Chad Marshall
- 83' - SEA - Magnus Wolff Eikrem
- The Big Picture: Job done. The Sounders advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League. It wasn't a series without worry – the injury to Jordan Morris in the first leg and struggles through the first 45 minutes of the second leg are worth noting – but the bottom line is that the Sounders did what they needed to do. The difficulty will only increase from here as they face Chivas Guadalajara next.
- Moment of the Match: For about 47 minutes at CenturyLink Field on Thursday, it looked like the Sounders might crash out of the CONCACAF Champions League as Santa Tecla sat deep and tried not to give an inch. But once Will Bruin found the net in the 47th minute, the match instantly opened up as the Sounders gained the edge. And the debut of Magnus Wolff Eikrem earns an honorable mention as being a key moment of the match. His second-half entrance into the midfield as the Sounders shifted formations changed the game on its head and the Sounders dominated from there.
Magnus Wolff Eikrem came on at half-time for his official #Sounders debut, and he made an instant impact. He whipped in a cross that #SantaTecla didn't clear, Lodeiro collected the ball in the box and set up Bruin's goal. The game will open up more now. #SEAvSAN #CCL #SCCL2018 pic.twitter.com/2ZmU5fznIT— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) March 2, 2018
- Man of the Match: Nicolas Lodeiro wasn't just the best player of Thursday's match, but of the series between the Sounders and Santa Tecla. He nabbed a goal and two assists on Will Bruin and Chad Marshall's goals, but more than that, practically everything good that happened in the Sounders' attack went through the Uruguayan.
- SEA: Sunday, March 4 vs. Los Angeles FC (5 pm ET | ESPN)