The referee seemed intent on keeping the group interesting, but the Seattle Sounders had other plans. Despite giving up a pair of penalties and having a goal waved off for a questionable foul, the Sounders became the first team to punch their ticket into the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over Marathon on Saturday.
The Sounders twice saw one-goal leads wiped out by penalties. The first seemed perfectly legitimate, as Mitchell Brown was taken down in the penalty area by Sounders goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. Mario Berrios converted that penalty. The second penalty was far more questionable, as the contact between Patrick Ianni and Julian Rapalo seemed incidental at most. Berrios again converted the penalty.
Despite starting a lineup that was heavy on reserves, it was mostly Sounders starters who were responsible for the goals. The Sounders took the initial lead when Sammy Ochoa scored his third goal in as many Champions League games, nodding home a Mario Martinez cross in the 11th minute.
After several regrettable missed opportunities, Eddie Johnson was the next player to give the Sounders the lead. He was able to chest down an Andy Rose pass and hit a quick, right-footed shot past the goalkeeper in the 62nd minute.
The Sounders are 3-0-0 through their first three matches and are one of three teams to have won all their group stage games.