Sounders beat Montreal, 2-0
The Sounders get a goal from Obafemi Martins in the 58th minute and win their road opener for the first time since 2009 despite not having Clint Dempsey.
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MONTREAL — Denied on a great scoring chance in the first half, Obafemi Martins made no mistake when he got another opportunity to beat Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins in the second.
Martins scored Seattle’s second goal in the 58th minute to send the Sounders to a 2-0 win against the Impact on Sunday.
The Sounders forward drove home a pass from Kenny Cooper to put Seattle up by two in the second half after an own goal by Perkins made it 1-0 eight minutes in.
Perkins made a sensational save on Martins’ header in the 17th minute, leaping to swat away the ball with the fingertips of his right hand.
“He got to the first one so the second one I had to take my time,” Martins said. “It was too late for him anyway to get there — he even tried, he touched it a little bit —, but I’m glad I scored.”
Seattle captain Djimi Traore blocked a Blake Smith drive on the goal line in the 84th minute to help Stefan Frei record the clean sheet for the Sounders, who improved to 2-1 and won their road opener for the first time since 2009 in front of 27,207 at Olympic Stadium.
“Before the game we talked about that, to come here and not concede a goal to have a clean sheet,” Traore said. “It was a main thing for us because we know we have some good strikers, we know as a team we can score any time, and now we need to make sure we defend all together and that’s what we did today.”
The game was originally scheduled for Saturday, but was postponed for precautionary reasons because of anticipated snow accumulation on the stadium’s roof.
Clint Dempsey sat out the first of a two-game suspension. Cooper was in the starting lineup for Dempsey, who was suspended by MLS on Friday for a low blow to Toronto FC defender Mark Bloom in Seattle’s’ 2-1 loss last Saturday at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders caught a break to take an early lead as Gonzalo Pineda lofted a shot on a free kick that Lamar Neagle headed up and off the left corner of the cross bar. The ball struck Perkins and went into the net to give the Sounders their first goal in a road opener since 2010.
Neagle was a bit surprised that the score was ruled an own goal.
“Yeah, I don’t know about that,” Neagle said. “That’s a little bit ridiculous but I’m sure that Troy will vouch for me as well. I don’t know who’s supposed to decide that but it’s a little bit strange.”
The Impact, which won its two previous games against Seattle, pressed in the 30th minute as rookie Eric Miller came close to delivering the equalizer.
Neagle then hit the post in the 32nd minute.
Sounders coach Sigi Schmid was pleased with his team’s effort.
“I thought it was good,” Schmid said. “We wanted to sit back a little bit so I knew we were going to absorb some pressure, and we were trying to get forward on the counter, and figured we could create some chances off that. It’s been a little bit longer than a normal road trip with the extra day but I thought our team did a good job. You know, Perkins makes an unbelievable save on Obafemi’s header in the first half and Lamar’s unlucky when he hits the inside of the post and it goes across or else he would have had two today, but I thought tactically we did what we needed to do.”
The Impact was without striker Marco Di Vaio, who served the final game of a three-game suspension.