The Seattle Sounders surrendered three second-half goals, as their 2018 CONCACAF Champions League campaign came to end against Liga MX side Chivas Guadalajara in a 3-0 defeat at Estadio Akron on Wednesday night.
Oswaldo Alanis, Javier Lopez and José de Jesús Godínez all netted for the hosts, who controlled the action throughout the evening after Seattle’s 1-0 victory in last week’s first leg at CenturyLink Field.
The Sounders were dealt a pair of massive blows in the first half, as striker Will Bruin and center back Chad Marshall each had to sub off with injuries. Bruin was replaced by Lamar Neagle just minutes into the match after he appeared to take a shot to the face while going up to contest a header, while Marshall picked up a black eye doing the same thing.
After a scoreless first half, Chivas found its aggregate equalizer shortly after second-half kickoff when Alanis bagged a pinpoint free-kick golazo in the 50th minute that he placed just beyond the outstretched arms of diving Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei. Lopez then added the second in the 55th after getting behind the Seattle back line and chipping the ball over Frei, allowing him to flick a header into the empty net. Godínez then sealed the result with a flicked back heel finish in the 80th.
INJURY BUG BITES
The Sounders were already worse for the wear coming into the match as star midfielder Nicolás Lodeiro didn’t even travel with the team due to a sprained foot in addition to their already lengthy injury list. Seattle struggled to cope with the absence of their Uruguayan playmaker and ceded the possession battle to Chivas from the get-go on Wednesday. Losing Bruin and Marshall on top of that certainly didn’t help matters and in the end, the Sounders depth couldn’t see them through.
It was far from ideal circumstances given Marshall’s injury but the Sounders did get their first look at one of their recent new signings as South Korean defender Kim Kee-hee made his club debut to replace Marshall in the 35th minute. The 28-year-old undoubtedly would have liked to have his first appearance to come in a better result, but he’s at least officially got his feet wet as he prepares for his role in Seattle’s central defense rotation with Marshall and Román Torres.
BACK TO WORK
There’s not a lot of time to dwell on the disappointing defeat. The Sounders now have to turn their focus back to league play, where they have their second match of the season against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Sunday. Frisco is always one of the tougher road venues in MLS, so the Sounders have figure to have a competitive match in store as they get back to work.