Nate Jaqua's goal in the first extra-time period proved to be the series winner as Seattle Sounders FC topped Panama's San Francisco FC, 2-0, in the second and deciding leg of the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round, taking the aggregate goal series, 2-1, in front of 21,233 fans and a national television audience on a warm Wednesday night on the Xbox Pitch at CenturyLink Field.
With the two goal victory, Sounders FC clinches a place in the group stage that begins later this month. The Rave Green will host Guatemala's Comunicaciones on August 16 at 7 p.m. PT. The second round will be played at Mexico's Monterrey on August 22 at 5 p.m. PT.
The remainder of the schedule for Group D will be announced once the preliminary round is completed.
Seattle was on top 1-0 at full-time. Two 15 minute extra-time periods were necessary to determine the winner, with the aggregate goal series tied, 1-1, after San Francisco FC defeated Sounders FC, 1-0, in Panama on July 26.
Jaqua, a substitute in the 68th minute, connected on his series-clinching goal in the 98th minute. Alvaro Fernandez received a ball up the left side from Mauro Rosales and crossed it into the middle of the box, where Jaqua pounded it from point blank range past San Francisco FC goalkeeper Miguel Torres and into the back of the net for the goal, giving Seattle the 2-0 lead on the night and 2-1 aggregate goal lead in the series.
Rosales and Fernandez were credited with an assist on the play.
Sounders FC dominated the flow of play early, totaling 12 shots through the first half alone, a number that included their first goal of the night.
In the 41st minute, Erik Friberg won a slide tackle challenge and played a ball forward to Fredy Montero on the left side. Montero rolled the ball into the corner of the box for Leo Gonzalez on an overlapping run and Gonzalez sent a cross in for Fernandez, who struck a header that hit the inside of the right post and went into the back of the net for a goal.
Fernandez's goal put Seattle up 1-0 and tied the aggregate goal series, 1-1.
Gonzalez and Montero were credited with an assist on the play.
Seattle racked up 16 more shots in the second half, finishing with a whopping 28 shots through the end of regulation to San Francisco FC's five. Sounders FC's 34 total shots in the match were a season-high in all competitions.