Soccer  > General Soccer  > Monterrey closes on quarterfinal berth
September 21, 2010, 09:53 AM
It is the only team with an unblemished record in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, and Monterrey could become the first to reach the knockout stage with a win against the Seattle Sounders FC at Estadio Tecnologico Wednesday night.

When the two teams met August 25 at Qwest Field, Monterrey won 2-0 on goals by Neri Cardozo and Aldo De Nigris.

Seattle has lost three straight in the Champions League, but still proved it is capable of a major upset with its 4-0 victory Saturday over Columbus at Crew Stadium.

Blaise Nkufo scored three and Nathan Sturgis added a penalty kick for Seattle, which moved within one point of fourth-place Colorado in Major League Soccer's Western Conference.

"We were very efficient tonight in our finishing," Seattle coach Sigi Schmid said. "We had been very unfortunate I thought in our game at Saprissa in [the] Champions League, so obviously we're very happy. I don't think the difference between the two teams is four goals even though that was the score tonight."

Monterrey, which has nine points from its three Group C matches, remained tied with Santos atop Group 1 of the Mexican Apertura with a 2-0 victory against Atlas Saturday night. De Nigris and Humberto Suazo scored six minutes apart for Monterrey, which has 18 points from eight league matches.

"Everything we have achieved so far is also due to the collective work," Monterrey coach Victor Manuel Vucetich said. "The idea is to track, without breaking the rhythm???We must be very attentive to everything."

A Monterrey win Wednesday followed by a victory later in the night by Saprissa at Marathon - or a draw between the two -- would assure Monterrey of reaching the quarterfinals.

But the Marathon-Saprissa match also can go a long way toward determining the second berth from Group C. Saprissa is in second place with six points from three matches, three better than Marathon who will be at home in Estadio Olimpico Metropolitano in San Pedro Sula.

In the first meeting in San Jose on August 26, Saprissa cruised to a 4-1 victory on goals by Alejandro Sequeira, Jairo Arrieta, Josue Martinez and Armando Alonso. Mario Berrios scored the lone goal for Marathon, which has lost two straight on the road and now has two of its three remaining games at home.

On Sunday, Saprissa fell to Costa Rican league co-leader Barrio Mexico 3-2 as Jorge Barbosa scored the winner for the host one minute from full time. Twice Saprissa equalized, first on a Sequeira penalty kick in the 41st minute and again on a goal by Alonso in the 87th minute.

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