Soccer  > General Soccer  > Second-half goal sends Seattle past Metapan
August 4, 2010, 11:20 AM
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador - Second-half substitute Alvaro Fernandez scored with a header in the 74th minute to give the Seattle Sounders a 1-1 draw with Metapan on Tuesday and send the U.S. side into the Group Stage of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Fernandez was making his debut for Seattle after he was acquired following his appearance at the World Cup where he helped Uruguay to the semifinals. His goal came after near total possession and repeated chances by Seattle, overcoming a sloppy, muddy field that made scoring opportunities a premium.

Seattle advanced from the Preliminary Round series 2-1 on aggregate and will join Group C along with Monterrey, Saprissa and either Tauro or Marathon. Marathon won the first leg 3-0 in Panama and hosts the second leg on Wednesday.

Fernandez, who entered the game with Nate Jaqua in the 64th minute, got on to the end of James Riley's cross from the deep right and drove it inside the right post past diving goalkeeper Jose Luis Gonzalez.

Metapan went ahead in the 18th minute when Paolo Suarez beat Tyrone Marshall to the outside on the left, settled the ball on the byline and chipped a pass into the goal box where an unmarked Anel Canales dived to head the ball into the opposite side of the net.

Canales returned to Metapan in June after spending the previous six months with Chorillo in Panama.

The match was played in a constant, steady rain that started hours before the match and turned the field into a sodden mess that made turning, planting a foot and controlling the ball nearly impossible.

After taking the lead, Metapan appeared to put 10 players behind the ball while leaving Canales alone up front.

Seattle dominated possession, requiring goalkeeper Kasey Keller to rarely touch the ball.

Roger Levesque and Fredy Montero routinely put shots goal-ward, but the chances were either high, wide or forced Gonzalez to move little.

Metapan has won only one of 10 matches in the CONCACAF Champions League, its group finale at home last year against the Houston Dynamo. It has lost seven and drawn the other two.

Seattle, in only its second year of existence, will open its group schedule away against the winner between Tauro and Marathon on August 19.

The victory was Seattle's fifth straight and extended its unbeaten streak to seven, having not lost since a 3-1 defeat at Los Angeles on July 4.

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