SAN PEDRO SULA, Honduras – Sounders FC advanced to the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-2 win over CD Marathon at Estadio Olimpico in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Sammy Ochoa, Eddie Johnson, and Brad Evans scored goals as Seattle remained unbeaten (3-0-0, 9 points) in 2012-13 CCL play.
Seattle is now eight points ahead in Group 4, with just one game to play. Sounders FC will face Marathon (0-1-1, 1 point) again on October 24 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
Seattle got on the board first in the 11th minute. Mario Martinez, playing in his home country, sent a cross from the left side that found Ochoa in a crowd, and the striker headed it past keeper Jose Mendoza for his team-leading third goal in CCL play. Ochoa has scored a goal in three straight CCL matches and the assist marks Martinez’s first point for Sounders FC.
Marathon equalized in the 34th minute after being awarded a penalty kick when Mitchell Brown was taken down in the box by Michael Gspurning on a breakaway. Mario Berrios converted the penalty high and to the right, despite Gspurning getting his fingertips to it.
In the 62nd minute, Andy Rose played a nice ball to Johnson in the box, who touched once, then fired a right-footed shot inside the near post to take a 2-1 lead. It was the first goal in CCL play for Johnson and the team-leading third assist for Rose.
Marathon was awarded another penalty kick in the 67th minute when Patrick Ianni was whistled for a foul on Julian Rapalo in the box. Berrios converted again, this time to the left, to equalize for the second time.
Evans provided the game-winner in the 78th minute. Osvaldo Alonso sent a long ball in the box and Evans skied above the defense to put a strong header into the back of the net. Both Evans and Alonso had come on as substitutes in the second half.
Seattle has yet to allow a goal from the run of play in 2012-13 CCL play, as all four goals surrendered have come on penalties.
Marathon out-shot Sounders FC 20-7, but managed only five shots on goal. Michael Gspurning finished with three saves, including two stops at the end of the first half when he punched away a powerful shot from Randy Diamond and then plucked a hard shot from Rapalo out of the air.
The Rave Green return to action Saturday night when they host the league-leading San Jose Earthquakes. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. PT on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
SEA – Sammy Ochoa (Mario Martinez) 11′
MAR – Mario Berrios (PK) 35′
SEA – Eddie Johnson (Andy Rose) 62′
MAR – Mario Berrios (PK) 67′
SEA – Brad Evans (Osvaldo Alonso) 78′