COLUMBUS, Ohio – Entering the match on Saturday with the Columbus Crew, the Sounders FC was determined to garner some road success while knowing that they would need to find different ways to win away from CenturyLink Field.
What came their way at Crew Stadium was as stiff a test as they’ll find, as they saw a weather delay of over 90 minutes and a red card and injury within the first 20 minutes. Yet they still found a way and emerged 1-0 victors to leap to 12-8-6 on the season.
In front of a sellout crowd of 20,392 at Crew Stadium, Leo Gonzalez was shown a red card and ejected in the seventh minute when he pulled down Ryan Finley on a free run up the middle, leaving Seattle down a man for 83 minutes.
However, Seattle was able to negate that Columbus edge just as quickly as it was awarded.
Johnson got in front of Josh Williams and got an easy header from a Mauro Rosales free kick, nodding it past Lampson for his seventh goal of the season, giving Seattle the 1-0 lead in the 14th minute.
In the 19th minute, they turned to their bench, as Brad Evans had to leave the match with an injury. He was replaced by Servando Carrasco, who started 12 straight matches from May through July.
Columbus nearly found an equalizer in the 33rd minute, as Dominic Oduro got in behind Lamar Neagle, who moved to the left back role after Gonzalez was ejected, and skipped a cross in for Jairo Arrieta crashing into the box. Jhon Kennedy Hurtado slid in to defend the cross, though, then cleared the ball off the line to keep Seattle up 1-0.
In the 45th minute, Neagle nearly added to the lead on a run up the left side. On the run, he played a one-two with Dempsey to get into the box, but his shot for the far post was deflected just wide for a corner kick.
Seattle went into the half toting a 1-0 lead despite being outshot 12-2, limiting the Crew to just one shot on goal in the first half.
Columbus wasn’t able to get their next scoring chance until the 59th minute, but Oduro made it a tough task for Gspurning as he got in up the right side and forced the Seattle goalkeeper into a save from close range.
As solid as Gspurning was on that stop, he also was on the receiving end of some lucky bounces, too.
In the 76th minute, Konrad Warzycha got his head to a free kick, but clanged the shot off the crossbar. Four minutes later, Oduro cut in behind the Seattle defense and got around Gspurning at the top of the box, but put his contested left-footed effort wide of the far post.
In the end, Seattle held off 24 shots from the Crew to earn the victory, as Gspurning registered his second consecutive shutout and eighth clean sheet of the season.
Sounders FC won’t have time to rest, as they return to Seattle to host Chivas USA on Wednesday in the middle game of a stretch of three matches in eight days. That will conclude on September 7 against the Chicago Fire.
Sounders FC – Eddie Johnson (Mauro Rosales) 14.
Crew – None.
Sounders FC – Leo Gonzalez (ejection) 7; Djimi Traore (caution) 76.
Crew – Danny O’Rourke (caution) 21; Agustin Viana (caution) 36.
Sounders FC – Michael Gspurning, DeAndre Yedlin, Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, Leo Gonzalez, Mauro Rosales (Marc Burch 74), Osvaldo Alonso, Brad Evans (Servando Carrasco 19), Lamar Neagle, Eddie Johnson (Djimi Traore 61), Clint Dempsey.
Crew – Matt Lampson, Josh Williams, Danny O’Rourke, Chad Marshall, Agustin Viana (Konrad Warzycha 61), Dominic Oduro, Wil Trapp, Bernardo Anor, Justin Meram (Ethan Finlay 73), Jairo Arrieta, Ryan Finley.
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