Seattle Sounders beat Pumas UNAM in Concacaf Champions League Final

·2 min read

Sounders beat Pumas UNAM in Concacaf Champions League Final originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The Seattle Sounders have made history.

With a 3-0 win on Wednesday, the Sounders became the first American team to win the Concacaf Champions League Final since the tournament’s rebranding in 2008.

The game was tied 2-2 on aggregate entering the Leg 2 showdown against Pumas UNAM, but in front of 68,741 fans at Lumen Field, the highest-attended match in Concacaf Champions League history, it was the Sounders who came out on top.

As predicted, the game got off to an aggressive start with the Sounders getting the rough end of the luck. Starting defender Nouhou Tolo went down after a hit to the upper knee and was replaced in the 11th minute. Then starting attacker Joao Paolo needed a stretcher after taking a hit to the knee area, putting Seattle down two subs in just the first 29 minutes. Sixteen-year-old Obed Vargas came on for Paolo. 

Sounders goalkeeper Stefan Frei had a marvelous set-piece save late in the first half, and later the offense capitalized when Seattle’s No. 9 Raul Ruidiaz’s shot in the box took a deflection and went in. The home team took a 1-0 lead going into the half. 

The first big moment came from the Pumas in the 62nd minute of the second half. Winger Washington Corozo whipped in a dangerous cross from the left flank that Diogo connected with, but Frei pulled off another big-time save.

Seattle’s first opportunity didn’t come until the 80th minute. After winning the ball on a header in their own box, the Sounders hit the gas on the counter. 

Once the ball reached the final third, forwards Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro played two first-touch passes to Ruidiaz, who tucked in a first-touch goal of his own into the bottom left corner, making it a brace for the Peruvian forward. 

Seven minutes later, Seattle had another key opportunity. Pumas goalkeeper Alfredo Talavera saved a shot off the post, but Lodeiro, who had two goals in the first leg, rebounded the shot to make it 3-0 to seal the win.

Real Salt Lake (2011) and Los Angeles FC (2020) had made the finals during their respective runs but did not win the trophy. 

Mexico had won all 13 finals prior to Wednesday night’s game, but Pumas could not extend the streak to 14.