The Seattle Sounders FC continued their winning ways with a bizarre ,” are you kidding me “, 2-1 win over Honduras Club CD Olimpia Wednesday night in front of 37,106 fans at Century Link Field in CONCACAF Champion’s League Group Stage play.
Lamar Neagel was the only starter from Sunday’s 4-0 win over Orlando SC and the unfamiliarity between the players showed as communication and passes between the home side players was just a bit of center. In a word, the home side’s play was disjointed.
The inability to clearly communicate on defense cost the Sounders dearly as the Honduras side got on the the board early when Oscar Sala’s sent a curling ball that found an open Alberth Elis who promptly snap headed the ball it into the back of Sounders goal to give the visitors a 1-0 lead after just five minutes of play.
Despite the inability to garner any kind of rhythm on offense, Seattle had good looks at the CD goal, Aaron Kovar came close in the 19th minute when his right footed shot forced CD keeper Noel Vallarde to make a diving save to keep the ball from hitting the back of the net for the equlizer. Kovar had another near miss in the 28th minute when he hit the right side of the post.
Sensing the Sounders attack building momentum and their legs becoming weary, CD switched to the old soccer strategy of slowing down a faster opponent by falling down and faking an injury every time you are touched. The tactic bordered on the absurd , ridiculous and down right disrespectful to the integrity of the game. The strategy worked for the first half as the visitors went to the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
The tactic seemed to get old or their was some kind of discussion between the ref and his linesmen at the halftime break, CD was handed two yellow cards within the first two minutes of the second half. The stop to the shenanigans brought new life to game and the Sounders revved up their attack by running at the weary CD defenders.
” We tried to high press them the whole game and we knew that if we made runs at their defenders, they where bound to get tired as the game went on.” Sounders Head Coach Sigi Schmid said after the game
Schimid brought in starters Brad Evans and Roman Torres for speed and pace. The pressing strategy paid off in the 90th minute when Erik Friberg pounced on a missed header by Arnold Peralta for the equalizer. Peralta made another costly mistake three minutes later when he fouled Seattle’s Dylan Remake in the box and a penalty was awarded to the Sounders.
After a five minute melee that resembled a rugby scrum, calm was restored and Sounder Captain Brad Evans made good on the penalty and the Sounders had an improbable win after conceding an early goal.
” It was satisfying in that we kept on battling and in the end we walked away with three points and a win at home, ” Evans said after the game. The Sounders will visit Real Salt Lake this Saturday and then face CD Olimpia August 26 in Honduras.