Seattle Sounders vs. Tigres UANL: Final score 3-1, Sounders shock comeback sends them to semis


The Sounders were down 2-0 on aggregate, but three second half goals against 10-man Tigres brought them back and earned them a spot in the semifinals.

If Tigres UANL thought their spot in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals was safe after winning 1-0 at home in the first leg -- so much so that they sent few of their first team players to Seattle for the second leg -- they certainly thought it was in the bag after scoring first in the second leg. But a furious comeback by the Seattle Sounders, who were aided by a red card to Tigres, turned the tie around with three goals to shock Tigres and send Seattle through to the semifinals with a 3-1 second leg win (3-2 on aggregate).

Elias Hernandez put Tigres up early with a tap in of a wonderful cross that seemingly ended the tie as the visitors were 2-0 up on aggregate with an away goal that the Sounders didn't have. It almost got even worse for Seattle moments later when Tigres had a shot that looked goal-bound, but Michael Gspurning made a tremendous save to keep the Sounders' down just two goals.

Gspurning's save proved to be huge when Manuel Viniegra was sent off for his second yellow card just before halftime. With Tigres down to 10 men, Seattle finally had hope of overturning the two-goal deficit.

The second half started with Seattle on the front foot and they were rewarded in the 53rd minute through their 19-year-old rookie DeAndre Yedlin hit a great volley from 30 yards to beat Jorge Diaz de Leon. Yedlin did get some help from a deflection, but it was a great strike, as shocking as his hair.

But Yedlin's goal paled in comparison to Djimi Traore's unbelievable goal seven minutes later. The ball came to him 35 yards out and after take a touch to settle, Traore hit the bouncing ball absolutely perfectly. It was a laser that caught the underside of the crossbar before going in for one of the best goals in CONCACAF Champions League history.

Up 2-1 in the match, the Sounders still had more work to do. They were level 2-2 on aggregate and set to go out on away goals, but Eddie Johnson came to the rescue.

Johnson had missed several great chances early on in the match, and after Sammy Ochoa and Steve Zakuani also missed from inside of the box, it looked like the Sounders might be cursed, but the Johnson broke down the left in the 75th minute. He beat his man, but was at a sharp angle and needed some wandering goalkeeping to score. de Leon gave him exactly that, though, taking a terrible angle and leaving space open for Johnson, who did not hesitate to slide the ball home and complete the Sounders' comeback.

Even up a man, Seattle got defensive trying to protect their lead. That gave Tigres the ball ad space to make things nerve racking, but the Sounders held on to become the first MLS team to ever eliminate a Mexican side from the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Sounders will play either the Houston Dynamo or Santos Laguna in the semifinals, while Tigres are left to wonder what would have happened if they sent their first team to Seattle, Viniegra didn't get sent off or the Sounders didn't get two remarkable goals.

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