Posted on October 24, 2012
SEATTLE — Sammy Ochoa, Steve Zakuani and David Estrada scored goals to lift the Seattle Sounders to a 3-0 win over Marathon in a CONCACAF Champions League match on a rainy Wednesday night at CenturyLink Field.
The win ensured the Sounders (4-0-0, 12 points), who already had clinched a berth in the knockout round, the third seed in next year’s quarterfinals.
“We’re happy to have gone through our group undefeated,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid told reporters. “I’m very proud and pleased that we won the group and put us in the top four seeds.”
Ochoa scored his fourth CCL goal in as many matches to lift the Sounders to a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. Mario Martinez created the goal, sending a one-bounce pass from the right flank to Ochoa, who beat goalkeeper Jose Mendoza to the lower left corner.
“It was a good opportunity for him to get back out there and play,” Schmid said. “Having played in Mexico, for him to do well in this competition, I’m sure that’s something that he’s proud of.”
Only three minutes later, Zakuani doubled the lead. Central defender Jeff Parke set up his teammate with a through ball and Zakuani did the rest, racing into the penalty area, faking a defender and firing home a shot to the near left post.
Marathon, however, came back to cut the lead in half in the 37th minute. A well-timed through ball on the right flank to Tulio Vega enabled him to find a sprinting Mitchel Brown with a short pass as he beat goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann from point-blank range.
Hahnemann, who enjoyed a long career in England, was playing his first game for the Sounders in 16 years — or since October 1996.
Hahnemann came up big for the hosts in the 66th minute as Brown picked up a loose ball in the penalty area and hammered a 12-yard shot that the keeper caught without leaving a rebound.
Ochoa tried to give Seattle some breathing room in the 73rd minute, but he could not get full power behind it and Mendoza made the save.
What Ochoa could not achieve, Estrada did — three minutes later. Martinez sent a pass to Estrada in the penalty area. Estrada mistouched the ball, got possession and shot between two defenders from seven yards to restore the hosts to their two-goal advantage.
Photo: Sigi Schmid: “I’m very proud and pleased that we won the group and put us in the top four seeds.” Andy Mead/YCJ
Categories: Central America, Champions League, Honduras, North America, U.S.A.
Tags: CONCACAF Champions League, David Estrada, Jeff Parke, Jose Mendoza, Marathon, Marcus Hahnemann, Mario Martinez, Mitchel Brown, Sammy Ochoa, Seattle Sounders, Steve Zakuani