Alonso's goals let Sounders advance in CONCACAF Champions League
In the driving rain at Estadio Cemetos Progreso in Guatemala City, Alonso rescued the Sounders from defeat with only minutes to spare.
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Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso scored twice, including a dramatic equalizer in the 89th minute, to give visiting Seattle a 2-2 tie Tuesday against CSD Comunicaciones of Guatemala in the CONCACAF Champions League group stage.
The result was good enough to qualify the Sounders (3-1-1) into the CCL quarterfinals, which begin in March.
"Our team has very good character so I was very confident that we could come and tie the game," said coach Sigi Schmid, who was disappointed with last year's 1-5 finish in the international competition.
Seattle can finish first in CCL's Group D with a win or tie in its final group-stage game Oct. 18 at CenturyLink Field against defending champion Monterrey of Mexico (3-2).
In the driving rain at Estadio Cemetos Progreso in Guatemala City, Alonso rescued the Sounders from defeat with only minutes to spare. A defensive midfielder with only three goals this season coming into the game, Alonso drilled a close-range shot from in front of the net for the tying goal.
The chance was set up when a pass by forward Sammy Ochoa toward Fredy Montero was cleared in the direction of a wide-open Alonso.
"I'm very happy; I'm very proud of myself," said the 25-year-old Cuban of his first two-goal performance.
Added defender Tyson Wahl: "Even though (Alonso) doesn't score most the goals, he's our most valuable player. I think if you ask anyone else, they would say that."
Comunicaciones (2-2-1) had broken a 1-1 tie in the 64th minute when Sounders FC goalkeeper Kasey Keller failed to punch clear a corner kick and Rafael Morales knocked in the loose ball.
"I thought we made a couple of mistakes that were uncharacteristic of us," said Schmid.
Seattle immediately pressed hard for the equalizer, and came closest in two close misses by Montero in the 82nd and 84th minutes before Alonso struck.
Comunicaciones had opened the scoring in the seventh minute, when forward Transito Montepeque chipped a breakaway shot over Keller that glanced off the underside of the cross bar and in.
Seattle tied the score just before halftime, when Alonso fired an open shot from 17 yards that deflected off a Comunicaciones defender past Paredes. He dedicated the goal to his wife, Liang, who was celebrating her birthday.
"Now, the main focus for me is to keep winning as we go into the next round," said Alonso.
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