UANL Tigres picked up the win over the Seattle Sounders that they were expected to get at home in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal, but it was only a 1-0 win. It was a generous scoreline for Seattle, who were outplayed all match, but some fine play by Michael Gspurning and some fortune, the Sounders head home for the second leg with a manageable deficit.
It was clear from the beginning that the Sounders went to Nuevo Leon just trying to limit the damage. They packed men behind the ball and were rarely adventurous in possession, instead choosing to play safe and make things difficult on the home side.
Osvaldo Alonso and Djimi Traore did their best to keep Tigres' superior possession from turning into chances, an especially difficult task with Brad Evans and Zach Scott struggling, and to nobody's surprise it failed at times. But whenever Tigres got through, Gspurning was there. He made a great save on Luis Garcia early on, which set the tone for an active match for the Sounders' goalkeeper.
Even when Tigres did get through, it was only after Gspurning denied them on their first try. Lucas Lobos' first try at goal was turned away by Gspurning, but Alan Pulido buried the rebound for what would prove to be the winning goal. The Sounders appealed for offside on the play, but the two Tigres men who were offside did not play the ball and the goal was rightly allowed.
Tigres will be disappointed not to have done better and won by two or three goals, but they played their part in coming up short too. In addition to the wonderful Gspurning and Leo Gonzalez clearing a ball off the line after just three minutes, Tigres was wasteful in front of goal, missing the frame on multiple opportunities.
It may not have been pretty, but the Sounders got a decent result south of the border. The job is still tough, though -- upending a good Tigres side that was far superior on Wednesday.