Sounders and Pumas play wildly to a 2-2 draw in the first leg of the CCL final

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Nicolás Lodeiro scored on a pair of penalty kicks late in the second half, and the Seattle Sounders rallied to draw 2-2 with Pumas in the first leg of the Champions League final. CONCACAF on Wednesday night.

Lodeiro scored the first penalty in the 77th minute and the second came in the ninth minute of second-half stoppage time after a foul by Efraín Velarde on Cristian Roldán in the penalty area. Referee Ivan Barton eventually went to video review and awarded the penalty kick that put the Sounders level before the second leg.

“I just have to be prepared and we prepared for this,” Lodeiro said through an interpreter. “I have to be calm and confident that I will be able to deliver. That’s what the team expects.”

Seattle will host the second leg next Wednesday night looking to become the first Major League Soccer team to win the Champions League under its current format which began in 2008. Seattle is the fifth MLS team to reach the final and this will be the third time that an MLS team will go to the second leg after drawing in the first leg in Mexico.

Real Salt Lake played Monterrey 2-2 on the road in 2011 before losing 1-0 at home. Montreal played Club América 1-1 on the road in 2015, but lost 4-2 at home.

“Hopefully we’ll have a full stadium and, again, it’s going to be a really good final,” Seattle coach Brian Schmetzer said.

Juan Dinenno scored two goals in the first 50 minutes for Pumas, but the LigaMX team was unable to maintain the two-goal lead. Mexican clubs have won the CCL title in every season under its current format.

Dinenno, the tournament’s top scorer, scored on the second penalty opportunity in the 38th minute and added a powerful header that chilled Seattle goalkeeper Stefan Frei early in the second half to give Pumas a 2-0 lead. .

Frei saved Dinenno’s first penalty kick attempt, but video review determined he went off the goal line early and a second attempt was awarded.

“It was a little disappointing for us to go down 2-0,” Schmetzer said. “But what I would say to them is what I always appreciate about our team, is that we never give up. We never stop trying. It has always been there.”

Cristian Roldan of the United States Seattle Sounders, right, and Higor Meritao of Mexico’s Pumas battle for the ball during the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League soccer final in Ciudad of Mexico, on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.

Seattle cut the deficit in half in the 77th minute after a cross from Raúl Ruidíaz hit Sebastián Saucedo’s arm inside the penalty area. Lodeiro beat Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera with his shot.

Velarde’s foul on Roldán was not noticed for the first time by Barton. Roldán shouted for the call, the video review intervened and the penalty was awarded. Lodeiro beat Talavera again on the same side and the Sounders were tied.

Away goals are not a tiebreaker in the final, so if the teams are level on aggregate after 90 minutes, the final will go into extra time. A win for either team in the second leg will give them the title.


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