Seattle Sounders 1, Club Necaxa 1: Seattle Sounders test youth, earn draw in friendly against Club Necaxa

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Sounders got an 83rd-minute goal from Alvaro Fernandez but gave up an equalizer at the death, settling for a 1-1 draw in their international friendly with Mexican side Club Necaxa at CenturyLink Field on Saturday.

The contest was back-and-forth for much of the evening but neither side could manage to break through until Fernandez’s late tally that gave the Sounders the lead.

But Necaxa’s Alejandro Diaz notched a tap-in finish on a counter attack just before the start of the second-half stoppage time, leveling the contest and forcing the Sounders to settle for the draw.

Seattle fielded a youth-heavy lineup, with goalkeeper Tyler Miller, defenders Jordy Delem, Tony Alfaro and Nouhou and midfielders Zach Mathers and Henry Wingo all featuring in the starting XI.

Veteran offseason acquisitions Will Bruin and Harry Shipp each started and played all 90 minutes, with Shipp tallying the assist on Fernandez’s goal. Third-year midfielder Cristian Roldan also started and sported the captain’s armband for Seattle.

Necaxa’s Marcos Gonazles came within inches of opening the scoring in the 55th minute after teeing up a distance shot that he rifled past Miller but the shot would careen off the crossbar.

The Sounders then very nearly bagged one of their own shortly after in the 63rd minute off a pinpoint bending cross from Nouhou that almost found the outstretched leg of Fernandez in front of the Necaxa goal. But Fernandez narrowly missed the feed and Necaxa avoided the threat, keeping the contest in a scoreless deadlock.

Seattle would break through in the 83rd after Shipp found Fernandez with a feed on the left side of the Necaxa penalty box, leaving the Uruguayan international in a one-on-one with goalkeeper Marcelo Barovera. Fernandez then lofted his shot past Barovera and into the net, taking the Sounders to the 1-0 advantage.

The lead would be short-lived, however, after Diaz got on the end of a screaming cross in front of the Seattle goal and tapped a point-blank finish past Miller to seal the 1-1 result.

With the friendly behind them, the Sounders return to MLS action next Friday night, when they take on expansion side Atlanta United FC in another home fixture at CenturyLink Field (March 31; FS1; KIRO Radio 97.3 FM, El Rey 1360am | TICKETS).



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