The Seattle Sounders defeated Liga MX’s Tigres 3-0 on Tuesday night at Lumen Field in the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup.

Raúl Ruidíaz scored the opening goal of the match on a cheeky Panenka penalty kick in the 24th minute after Cristian Roldan was taken down in the 18-yard box. Ruidíaz, the former two-time Liga MX goalscoring champion with Morelia, scored his 12th goal of the season in all competitions.

The Sounders nearly added another in the 50th minute when Roldan found Ruidíaz with a deft drop pass, but Ruidíaz’s shot was over the crossbar.

Fredy Montero doubled the Sounders’ lead in the 64th minute when he tapped home a Roldan flicked header off a João Paulo corner kick.

Captain Nicolás Lodeiro, who made his long-awaited return to action in a cameo against FC Dallas last week, came on as a substitute in the 65th minute and needed just five minutes to record a Goal of the Tournament contender when he unleashed a 30-yard curler that found the back of the net.

TIgres’ best chance of the evening came in the 87th minute when Diego Reyes hit the post off a corner kick.

Seattle will take on the winner of Orlando City SC and Santos Laguna in the Leagues Cup semifinal in September.

THREE TAKEAWAYS

Strong Starting XI

Head Coach Brian Schmetzer held nothing back on Tuesday, rolling out essentially a first-choice lineup. The move worked perfectly, as his team looked as good as it did early in the MLS season and bossed much of the match against their Liga MX counterparts.

Lodeiro is \back\ back

Lodeiro is still working his way to full fitness after missing nearly the entire MLS season so far due to injury, but he looked every bit of his 2020 MLS Best XI self with his stunner of a goal. It’s a promising sign for Seattle as it gears up for the back half of the campaign.

Right back to MLS

The Sounders can hopefully ride this momentum into the weekend when they are back to work in MLS with an away match at the rival Portland Timbers (5:30 p.m. PT; FS1, 950 KJR AM, El Rey 1360 AM). The match is the first of a crucial three-match road swing, with Seattle heading to FC Dallas midweek next week before going to Columbus for a 2020 MLS Cup rematch at Crew SC.

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